Maori are a violent people and using the term Maori child abuse is not racist, outspoken Ngapuhi elder David Rankin says.
Mr Rankin was responding to AUT University academic Paul Moon, who has called on the media and government agencies to stop using the term Maori child abuse on the basis that it racist.
Dr Moon said there is no such thing as Maori child abuse or Pakeha child abuse, there is just child abuse.
"By putting the word Maori in front of it, a stereotype is created which is inaccurate and dangerous," he said.
"The vast majority of Maori parents, like the vast majority of all other parents, do a fantastic job of raising their children."
But Mr Rankin, a leader of the Matarahurahu hapu of Ngapuhi, said the term Maori child abuse is an accurate reflection of what some Maori are doing to their children.
He said Maori need to take ownership of the problem and stop trying to whitewash it.
"I am sick of academics trying to sanitise our behaviour. We are a violent people," Mr Rankin said.
"We come from a warrior race, but colonisation has meant that we no longer have any battles to fight and we have too much time on our hands so that violent energy is not used up.
"The Government has been throwing millions of dollars into these problems but the situation is only getting worse."
Mr Rankin said whanau must take a greater role in monitoring their members. "This is a problem for all Maori. It's time for us to take that warrior energy and deal to these thugs."