Today is a sad day for us as we say 'haere rā' to our Chief Children's Commissioner Judge Frances Eivers, who is returning to the bench after two years in the role.
Kaimahi of Mana Mokopuna - Children and Young People's Commission send a huge mihi to Judge Eivers who as Children's Commissioner has been a fierce advocate for mokopuna, especially those in the youth justice and care and protection systems. Her strong and kind heart, tireless energy and fearless spirit will be missed every day at Mana Mokopuna.
In her leaving kōrero, Judge Eivers shared some beautiful kupu she had written to encourage us to keep working for mokopuna, and with her permission we are sharing them here.
The time has come to say goodbye
But don't shed a tear or cry
We have had so many laughs along the way
Doing our best to ensure mokopuna thrive
By Māori, for Māori is our cry
Help our whānau stand tall and strong
Government hear our call!
Why is it so hard?
Mokopuna in warm dry homes
Their intelligence is beyond compare
Mokopuna with whānau
FInd their waka, find their marae,
Mokopuna filled with hope
Mokopuna in a whare
With love and plenty of kai
And you my whānau
Stand strong and true
A kaupapa close to your heart
worn on your sleeve
Never do you bow
Mokopuna voices ring true
From all walks of life
They keep us real
So as I walk out the door
I carry your passion
My heart is full of pride
To have met you and known you is a gem
He Taonga tuturu
Kia rite te waka
Ko ngā kaihoe o ngā kaikomihana,
Te Ihu, te waenga te kei kia rite,
hau, hau, haumaru haumanu.
Haumi ē hui ē,
We thank Judge Eivers for all she has done in her role as Children's Commissioner, and Chief Children's Commissioner, and wish her all the very best for her return to her mahi as a Judge.