Tauhere UC Connect public talk: Adoption reform – Who should care for our tamariki?

23 March 2022

In 2022, the time is nigh for change. Testimonies from Māori survivors have been heard in the Royal Commission on Abuse in Care this month, calls for action on uplifts by Oranga Tamariki persist, and the second phase of consultation into reform of the Adoption Act 1955 will begin.

  • UC Connect | Tauhere Adoption reform

The current state of care of our tamariki is an enduring legacy of our colonial history and the associated impacts on our whānau structures. As a critical indicator of the wellbeing of our communities, restoring the mana of our mokopuna should be our utmost priority.

In her public talk on Wednesday night, 30 March, University of Canterbury academic Māori health researcher Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll will focus on the closed adoption of Māori children, highlighting the thinking that led to the Adoption Act 1955 and its amendments, as well as the outcomes for adoptees and their whānau.

To what extent have we learned from the lessons of closed adoption? Can we be certain the attitudes that gave rise to this and other mechanisms of indigenous child removal, are not still in force today?

Adoption law reform presents an ideal opportunity to engage in broader conversations about what it means to be a parent, how we conceive of families, and what child-centredness truly entails.

About the speaker
University of Canterbury academic Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll PhD, MPH (Distinction) hails from Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Kahungunu. She is a senior lecturer in Māori health, in Te Kaupeka Oranga | Faculty of Health, and has been involved in Māori and public health research since 2000. The kaupapa of adoption is of great personal significance to her; born to young parents in the 1970s, Annabel was adopted at 4-months-old into a Pākehā family. As part of a ‘closed’ adoption, Annabel grew up without any knowledge of her whakapapa or whānau but was finally able to reconnect at age 19. In 2011 Annabel began researching in this area, investigating the stories and experiences of fellow Māori adoptees for her PhD.

Tauhere UC Connect public lecture: Adoption reform – Who should care for our tamariki?
Presented by Senior Lecturer Dr Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll, Te Kaupeka Oranga | Faculty of Health, Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury, 7pm – 8pm, Wednesday 30 March 2022, in Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Haere-roa (UCSA building), 90 Ilam Rd, Ilam, Christchurch. Register to attend free at: www.canterbury.ac.nz/ucconnect. Tauhere UC Connect public talks are also livestreamed free on the UC Facebook page.

Media contact:

  • Email: media@canterbury.ac.nz Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
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