The Green Party is today celebrating the Government’s response to a Green-led select committee inquiry into supporting grieving whānau with accessing and managing the tūpāpaku (deceased bodies) of their loved ones.
Responding to concerns raised by Māori about dealing with authorities regarding the tūpāpaku of deceased family members, former Greens Co-leader Metiria Turei initiated the inquiry at the Māori Affairs Select Committee. The inquiry was then driven and led by Green MP Marama Davidson.
The Government response, tabled in Parliament today, accepts nearly all of the Committee’s recommendations.
“The Government adopting these recommendations is fantastic news for Māori communities who sent a strong message that change is needed,” said Green Party Māori development spokesperson Marama Davidson.
“We heard from many whānau about how upsetting it has been for them in their grief to be denied the ability to stay with their loved one’s tūpāpaku and make the decisions on how it is treated and managed.
“All whānau were asking for is the opportunity to farewell and honour their loved ones in a way that upholds their culture, and tikanga Māori.
“Recommendations include working to adopt standards, codes of best practice and formal communication processes for relevant agencies such as the Police, coronial services and funeral homes.
“The changes will address the concerns, and make a real difference at what is one of the most difficult and stressful times for whānau.
“This is an important example of the Green change we are now delivering, and how this progressive Government is making a real difference for communities,” said Ms Davidson.