Tracey Martin, New Zealand’s Minister of Children, was in Snuneymuxw First Nation territory in Cedar Wednesday. Martin is in Canada and made a stop in the Nanaimo area to learn about child services. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Tracey Martin, New Zealand’s Minister of Children, was in Snuneymuxw First Nation territory in Cedar Wednesday. Martin is in Canada and made a stop in the Nanaimo area to learn about child services. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

New Zealand cabinet minister comes to Nanaimo on Indigenous fact-finding visit

Tracey Martin, Minister of Children, learns about child services offered by Kw’umut Lelum

A New Zealand cabinet minister made a stop in Nanaimo this week on a fact-finding mission about child services.

Tracey Martin, New Zealand MP and Minister of Children, and her contingent stopped by Snuneymuxw First Nation territory Wednesday to learn about child services offered through Kw’umut Lelum Child and Family Services, which services nine area First Nations, and if they can be applied to prevent Maori children in her country from coming into care. She and her government seek to “devolve responsibility from government to Maori with regard to child protection and child care.”

“It was because they had some of these services [that] were more advanced than others,” said Martin about why she came to Snuneymuxw territory. “Canada, generally because there’s been a legislative change that is a little bit similar to a legislative change of ours, meant that there was more empowerment of First Nations and starting to build their capacity.”

READ ALSO: Nanaimo contingent learns about Maori during cultural exchange

Bill Yoachim, Kw’umut Lelum executive director, said the Canadian government reached out to Snuneymuxw a few weeks ago, asking if they could host Martin and her contingent and there are lessons that can be learned from both sides.

“Systems are failing [children] whether they come from our systems or their systems. We’re starting a program called Step Up preparing kids when they age out of care and preparing them for their life-long journey … it’s proven statistically that both systems are failing and [Martin] has taken initiative down there, and her government, to push a program called Transition and what a great idea,” said Yoachim. “The feds are interested in that here, we’re doing a pilot on that called Step Up and we look forward to seeing where that goes.”

While both Canada and New Zealand are charting reconciliation paths, Martin said her country is “almost at the end of its treaty settlements.”

“Which means that the majority … have said, yes, we will reconcile for the losses of land, through the provision of this from the state or that from the state, a certain amount of finances and a certain amount of land,” said Martin. “I think the Maori economy is worth $11 billion now and it’s growing, so it’s giving Maori back the capacity to make their own decisions and stand on their own feet.

“From my perspective around child protection, that means that they are more than capable of looking up and looking after and making decisions for their own children, so this is the moment in our history’s time to now begin this process of devolving from the state.”



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read