Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Maori Engagement with New Zealand's Child Care and Protection Industry

The following figures relate to recent Maori engagement with New Zealand's care and protection/youth 'justice' systems.  The figures were provided by Poara Moyle, which graciously agreed to have them published on this blog.  If you are interested in an Indigenous-centred, critical perspective on the care and protection industry's impact on Maori, or wish to engage with material aimed at developing empowering social work practice, visit Paora's webpage at

I am providing this information here to a) enhance understanding of Maori experience of the industry, and b) as a source for researchers and students interested in this area of sociological/criminological/social work scholarship:

In the 2012 ‐ 2013 year, 80 Maori newborns were removed from their mother within the first 30 days of their birth. More than half of the total newborn uplifts. (Bernadette McKenzie, Deputy Chief Executive, Child Youth and Family, personal communication, June, 6, 2014).

Since then, uplifted Maori newborns have increased to 64% of the total (I would argue give or take the professional defining/recording the ethnicity, it could be as high as 2/3s of the total uplifts).

A snapshot view of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)/Child Youth and Family (CYF)/Ministry of Vulnerable Children (MVC) statistics for the years 2006 – 2017 shows the most increasing client group is the under 5s (including unborn). From 2006 - 2011 under 5s increased whilst the 6-9, 10-13, 16-17 age groups, decreased.

For the same period there was a steady increase for Maori having had a new care and protection Family Group Conference (FGC), whilst the Pakeha (European) client group decreased. From 2011-2017 the older age groups have remained fairly static.

‘New’ FGCs are held for new care and protection concerns. During the period 2006 - 2011 there was a 27% increase (4447 to 5667) in 'new' FGCs. The biggest increase were for the under fives 44% of the total. FGCs for Māori increased to 53% of the total.

From the CYF figures for the period 2010 to 2017 the overall number of Maori children and young people uplifted into state care increased, whilst Pakeha numbers decreased. In 2017 Maori make up 62% of the total (3439 of 5,603). The fastest growing client group over this time being the under 5’s.

Also in 2017, the number of distinct children and young people in the custody of the Chief Executive increased by 8% from the previous year (from 5,204 to 5,603).

Maori make up 62% of the total (3439 of 5,603) and this had increased 6% from the previous year.

There was also an 8% increase in the number of out-of-home placements (from 4,260 to 4,609). The most increasing client group of out-of-home placements being the under 5s. With the most increasing ethnicity of out-of-home placements being Māori at 61%, whilst Pakeha are decreasing.

This shows overwhelmingly that Maori are being targeted, particularly the under 5s, which fits with what young wahine Maori and Kaimahi in Refuge, MVC and Family Court are reporting their experiences to be, especially around the FGC being used to justify/rubber stamp state enforcement. stamp state enforcement. 

No comments:

Post a Comment