Paora Moyle on the continuing significance of Puao-te-ata-tu (Daybreak)

In light of the New Zealand governments call to review Child, Youth and Family, Paora Moyle offers a Māori practitioners perspective on the CYF review and the continuing relevance of the document  Puao-te-ata-tu (Daybreak).

2 replies on “Paora Moyle on the continuing significance of Puao-te-ata-tu (Daybreak)”

I agree with Paora that principle of Puao Te Ata Tu (1986) serve through challenging times. That no one is truly freed until the oppressor themselves are liberated. Consider the principle of Sovereignty-the basis for respecting authenticity, responsibilities to self and others (social responsibility). The term Aotearoa refers to the Pacific peoples traditions of spiritual and pragmatic care of people and place through the practice of hindsight, insight and foresight.

Our very early stories evidence willingness to social responsibility, recall the waiata on the death of a loved leader and reference to his care for the people. Agreement of early corporate social responsibility are recorded for public gaze in Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840). Over the subsequent years reflection and analysis record detail from taxes and how these serve the people of this land, tangata whenua, and peoples of the Treaty in health, education, their communal and spiritual well being. Public appointments were made with clear associated responsibilities. Noticing systematic disadvantage, it was the people whom called for the landmark research in Puao Te Ata Tu (1986). This research evidenced widespread racism in governmental departments and enabled the solutions which were to include and engage with those effected, families, local hapu, iwi. That the people would be present in advisory boards and employees to the State and within Children, Young Persons and their Families Act, CYF ( 1989) ;together we could engender practice and process of cultural understanding.

These practices demonstrate significant commitment by leaders to support peoples roles in enabling social responsibility. These practices differ from todays government where everyday practices such as insufficient income equity undermine sovereignty in the places we live and reduces how we participate in the shared maintenance of law, order and justice. Our silence currently however does not serve us.

We are told this month of a ‘modernisation’ of CYF in its work alongside the most vulnerable. If CYF is to be reviewed and children and whanau wellbeing is to be kept central to any decisions, surely this must include social workers whom work within the service? Surely any review will include active guidance of the entire process by hapu, iwi leadership. Surely no review should be begun, which seeks to justify a predetermined outcome such as cutting costs. This alter the basis of our agreement to live here together, our verbal constitution and commitment to sovereignty.

To go forward, we must look back. I hoped to have offered some of hind sight here. Then we may be open to the legacy where what is most valuable may guide what is to be decided -our foresight and insight.

I stand with our ANZASW, SW Educators, TWSWA, SWAN and others. My participation like your own is about caring for sovereignty, caring for the nature of social justice and particularly honours CYF social workers hope in the meaning of their work in these important months. If speaking up may cost your job, then have you given thought to speaking up in a private blog ? Let ANZASW speak for you as a collective, (watch for posting into this blog from ANZASW). Talk to work colleagues whom you trust. Let them know of the blog and of the Association role to protect the profession and individual members. Talk to SWAN-PSA. Write….

Above all do not go quietly into the night .

Nga mihi nui
Merrill Simmons Hansen- MANZASW Board

Kia Ora Paora,

Nga mihi nui for sharing this video. I am currently studying the National Certificate for Social Services Level 4 at SIT in Invercargill. I am writing an essay about Puao-te-Ata-tu and found your video extremely helpful to help me understand what this report is actually about. I have researched many avenues to find hearty information about PTAT and am thankful to have stumbled upon your korero. I will be an avid follower of your mahi. How can I access your written mahi?

Na Vanessa Spooner

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