The political inquiry into the well-being of Maori children has been told the health and happiness of tamariki rests with whanau.
A collective of Maori and non-Maori organisations - Te Ora o Manukau - has sent its views to the Maori Affairs select committee inquiry.
The co-chair of Te Ora o Manukau, Tania Kingi, says the approach to caring for children can not be separated from whanau.
She says whanau well-being and tamariki well-being has to be achieved together - something which is being more and more accepted.
But Ms Kingi says it is a struggle to get the issue onto a platform, and that is why a submission has been made.
The inquiry is looking at six different areas including public money spent on tamariki, health, education, social services and the justice sectors.
Submissions to the Maori Affairs select committee close on 16 March 2012.