Paora is Ngāti Porou (Te Whānau a Tūwhakairiora), was raised in State care and a registered social worker with 30 years’ experience in community work and social work. Paora, who identifies as non-binary takatāpui, is currently writing a PhD in Māori Health and enjoying first time nana-hood. Paora was the Wāhine Ora awardee, co-sponsored by Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga and New Horizons for Women: Hine Kahukura in 2020.
“This research asks how might the lived-experience of being removed from whānau by the State in Aotearoa, as a child, and the impact of this practice on the wellbeing of whānau, inform statutory child protection practice? The approach speaks to the absolute need for Indigenous peoples’ voices to be centralised within social research and asserts their understandings as the heart of the process and analysis”.
In between time, Paora provides education supervision to social work practitioners and recently was a chief witness for the Waitangi Tribunal Urgent Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki, as well as giving evidence to the Mana Wāhine Inquiry.
“Research in Aotearoa needs to consider, how and what we are writing speaks to the ‘intention of the state.’ For example, the lack of data on the taking of our tamariki from their whakapapa which speaks to the state hiding their dirty work and the prolific recording and publishing offending data which speaks to stereotyping Māori as genetically criminally predisposed.”