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Beyond Puao-Te-Ata-Tu : realising the promise of a new day Amohia Boulton, Michelle Levy and Lynley Cvitanovic

By: Boulton, Amohia F.
Contributor(s): Levy, Michelle | Cvitanovic, Lynley.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: Te Arotahi paper.Publisher: Auckland, New Zealand : Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, 2020Description: electronic document (20 pages) ; PDF file.Subject(s): Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children | New Zealand. Ministry of Social Development | Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga | COVID-19 | CHILD WELFARE | CHILDREN | COLONISATION | CHILDREN YOUNG PERSONS AND THEIR FAMILIES ACT 1989 | FAMILIES | MĀORI | PANDEMICS | SOCIAL SERVICES | SUPPORT SERVICES | KOWHEORI-19 | MATE URUTĀ | RANGAHAU MĀORI | TAIPŪWHENUATANGA | TAMARIKI | TIKANGA TUKU IHO | TOKO I TE ORA | WHĀNAU | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Click here to access online | Te Arotahi series | Read Puao-Te-Ata-Tu Te Arotahi paper, 06, December 2020Summary: The original purpose of this paper was to explore how Puao-Te-Ata-Tu: The Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare (Māori Perspective Advisory Committee, 1988) guides us in the urgent transformational change that has been unfailingly called for across hui (meetings), inquiries, reviews and reports in New Zealand for well over three decades. However, COVID-19 has changed our world in ways we could not have imagined just a few short months ago. Adding an analysis of Puao-Te-Ata-Tu within the context of COVID-19 to this paper is unavoidable. In light of the internationally lauded and indeed heroic work that has been done by New Zealand as a whole in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is now seen as a shining example for the rest of world. However, despite the sense of unity that underpinned the mobilising of our communities, the issues we raise in this paper are even more critical as we as a nation move to rise from the impact of this pandemic on our country. Experience and evidence tells us that the economic and social impacts of recession on Māori communities, such as those that occurred in the mid-1980s and the early 1990s, are severe and intergenerational: impacts are seen across employment, mental health, and the ability to afford safe and healthy food, and affordable and healthy housing (Baker, 2010). While we do not yet have a full understanding of the economic, social and cultural costs for Māori of COVID-19, we can reliably predict that the impacts will be magnified for those already bearing the brunt of deep-seated structural inequity and disadvantage across New Zealand. Puao-Te-Ata-Tu: The Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare(Māori Perspective Advisory Committee, 1988) recognised that the issues facing Māori in 1988 resulted from failing systems of state provision underpinned by a broader context of colonisation, racism and structural inequity. Although initially focused on state care and protection, Puao-Te-Ata-Tu highlighted the need for substantial overall structural and procedural state reform. The report was direct in its conclusions, noting that colonisation and monocultural organisations operated as major barriers to progress. Significant changes to organisational policy, planning and service delivery were critical to address these barriers. Furthermore, addressing these issues required a shift away from negative funding to devolved transformative investment focused on effecting positive change in the lives of whānau (families). These same messages have been consistently repeated for over three decades now: without exception, every major review focused on issues of critical importance for Māori has identified profoundly failing state sector systems, stressing an urgent need for bold transformational change. An overriding message repeatedly emphasised across the substantial evidence base is that we cannot continue using the same approaches and expect the outcomes to be different. (Authors' abstract). Note: Puao-Te-Ata-Tu was first released in 1986, however the document available online is dated 1988 (#5000). This is a paper in the Te Arotahi paper series, a series of think piece papers published by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) to provide research and focus to critical topic areas and issues facing Aotearoa New Zealand. Record #7008
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Te Arotahi paper, 06, December 2020

The original purpose of this paper was to explore how Puao-Te-Ata-Tu: The Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare (Māori Perspective Advisory Committee, 1988) guides us in the urgent transformational change that has been unfailingly called for across hui (meetings), inquiries, reviews and reports in New Zealand for well over three decades. However, COVID-19 has changed our world in ways we could not have imagined just a few short months ago. Adding an analysis of Puao-Te-Ata-Tu within the context of COVID-19 to this paper is unavoidable. In light of the internationally lauded and indeed heroic work that has been done by New Zealand as a whole in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is now seen as a shining example for the rest of world. However, despite the sense of unity that underpinned the mobilising of our communities, the issues we raise in this paper are even more critical as we as a nation move to rise from the impact of this pandemic on our country. Experience and evidence tells us that the economic and social impacts of recession on Māori communities, such as those that occurred in the mid-1980s and the early 1990s, are severe and intergenerational: impacts are seen across employment, mental health, and the ability to afford safe and healthy food, and affordable and healthy housing (Baker, 2010). While we do not yet have a full understanding of the economic, social and cultural costs for Māori of COVID-19, we can reliably predict that the impacts will be magnified for those already bearing the brunt of deep-seated structural inequity and disadvantage across New Zealand. Puao-Te-Ata-Tu: The Report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on a Māori Perspective for the Department of Social Welfare(Māori Perspective Advisory Committee, 1988) recognised that the issues facing Māori in 1988 resulted from failing systems of state provision underpinned by a broader context of colonisation, racism and structural inequity. Although initially focused on state care and protection, Puao-Te-Ata-Tu highlighted the need for substantial overall structural and procedural state reform. The report was direct in its conclusions, noting that colonisation and monocultural organisations operated as major barriers to progress. Significant changes to organisational policy, planning and service delivery were critical to address these barriers. Furthermore, addressing these issues required a shift away from negative funding to devolved transformative investment focused on effecting positive change in the lives of whānau (families). These same messages have been consistently repeated for over three decades now: without exception, every major review focused on issues of critical importance for Māori has identified profoundly failing state sector systems, stressing an urgent need for bold transformational change. An overriding message repeatedly emphasised across the substantial evidence base is that we cannot continue using the same approaches and expect the outcomes to be different. (Authors' abstract). Note: Puao-Te-Ata-Tu was first released in 1986, however the document available online is dated 1988 (#5000). This is a paper in the Te Arotahi paper series, a series of think piece papers published by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NPM) to provide research and focus to critical topic areas and issues facing Aotearoa New Zealand. Record #7008