Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki and Ngāti Porou
Ruth is Rongowhakaata, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki and Ngāti Porou. She was born, adopted in
the closed adoption era, and has lived most of her life in Ōtautahi / Christchurch. Ruth also
has lived experience of disability. Ruth is a qualified social worker, having trained at Canterbury University, and has worked in the disability sector and as a practitioner and manager for the last twenty years. She has a passion for her community and working in partnership with whānau and organisations. Ruth
has extensive networks and experience across the disability, not-for-profit, Māori and
government sectors. Currently her main governance roles are with the Ministerial Advisory
Board for Oranga Tamariki, the Redress for Survivors of Abuse in Care Design Group, and the
Iwi Māori Partnership Board Te Tauraki within the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.
In 2016 Ruth and her husband Gary started a Whānau Ora initiative, Hei Whakapiki Mauri,
where tangata and whānau whaikaha tautoko each other to have the competence and
confidence to be Māori first through collective strength and Whānau Ora navigation. Ruth is
also a co-founder of the Earthquake Disability Leadership Group (EDLG), set up to advocate
for accessibility in post-earthquake Christchurch in 2011. The rebranded Disability
Leadership Canterbury (DLC) continues to raise the voice of Cantabrians.
Ruth and Gary were proud to be co-claimants at hearing 7 of Waitangi Tribunal 2575 Health
Inquiry in August of 2023.
Update on the Tāngata Whaikaha Disability Waitangi Tribunal claim
This webinar outlines the role and proceedings of the Waitangi Tribunal, a specialized and permanent commission of inquiry in New Zealand. Its primary function is to investigate alleged breaches of te Tiriti o Waitangi or the Treaty of Waitangi. Emphasizing the thoroughness of the Tribunal’s reports, this abstract introduces the long-awaited review of the Tāngata Whaikaha – disability claim. The significance of this claim lies in its potential to address and rectify violations within the disability sector under Te Tiriti. An upcoming webinar will feature Dr. Huhana Hickey and Ruth Jones, who will provide insights into the hearing process and their evidence. Their discussion will focus on the details of the claim, the Tribunal’s review process, and strategies to ensure non-recurrence of Te Tiriti breaches in this domain.