Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
Browse
11421.pdf (544.68 kB)

Te Rito o Te Harakeke: Decolonising Child Protection Law in Aotearoa New Zealand

Download (544.68 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-25, 22:55 authored by Luke FitzmauriceLuke Fitzmaurice
It is now firmly established that the overrepresentation of tamariki Māori within the Aotearoa New Zealand child protection system is largely a consequence of colonisation. However, at least as far as the Crown is concerned, the contention that decolonisation is a necessary step in reversing those trends remains a more controversial issue. Drawing on my doctoral research into this topic, this article argues that the child protection system must be decolonised, and that efforts towards reform which do not prioritise decolonisation are likely to perpetuate long-standing harms. The article has four goals. First, I examine why decolonisation provides the best framework through which to enact child protection system reform. Secondly, I identify three overarching themes within the current legal framework, but argue that the presence of these themes does not mean they are all given equal weight. Thirdly, I outline a theory of reform I have termed "kaupapa Māori legal theory", which seeks to enable legislative change based on tikanga Māori in a way which pays heed to the risks of doing so from a Māori perspective. Finally, I apply that theory to child protection law, identifying six tikanga principles which could provide the basis of a decolonised system: mana, rangatiratanga, wānanga, whānau, whakapapa and whanaungatanga.

History

Preferred citation

Fitzmaurice, L. (2022). Te Rito o Te Harakeke: Decolonising Child Protection Law in Aotearoa New Zealand. Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, 53(4), 507-542. https://doi.org/10.26686/vuwlr.v53i4.8089

Journal title

Victoria University of Wellington Law Review

Volume

53

Issue

4

Publication date

2022-12-01

Pagination

507-542

Publisher

Victoria University of Wellington

Publication status

Published

Contribution type

Article

Online publication date

2023-01-31

ISSN

1171-042X

eISSN

1179-3082

Usage metrics

    Journal articles

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC