November 24, 2020
Opinion: Oranga Tamariki must be run by Maori – NOW!
Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: The Children's Commissioner have just released the second part of their report, into Oranga Tamariki, Te Kuku O Te Manawa, and it is damning in its denunciation of the internal processes and decision making that leads to babies taken from mothers at or just after birth.
What the report doesn't; do is call out the neoliberal welfare experiment that Oranga Tamariki actually represents.
The fundamental core principle of Oranga Tamariki is the removal of infants and children from situations that MSDs big data algorithms tell them are contributing factors in a life of cost to the State.
By removing the child from these situations, the State hopes to lower the downstream cost to itself.
In essence, Oranga Tamariki is a means to ensure the welfare of the State, it has little to do with the welfare of the child and it certainly has nothing to do with the welfare of the whānau.
Legal rights of the parent were watered down so Oranga Tamariki could cease children with more ease, parents weren't eligible for legal aid to challenge uplifts, and Oranga Tamariki has no checks or balances to such enormous power other than being caught out and shamed by journalists.
What we are left with is an organisation with massive power to interfere with people at their most vulnerable, and removing an infant from its mother at birth is surely the most brutal use of State force imaginable.
We have allowed dead brown babies to be waved in our faces with the cries, 'something must be done' to justify an organisation drunk on its own power with almost zero oversight to deal with the failures of society with the bluntest of tools.
Māori must take over Oranga Tamariki because their organisations come from a totally different value set. For those organisations, the welfare of the child and family is paramount, it's not about saving the State money, and those non-Māori children being uplifted would do far better under Māori organisations than the neoliberal horror experiment led by Pakeha.
The new Minister, Kelvin Davis, knows all this, the time for reform that is beyond the white cruelty of MSD is now.
Editor – TheDailyBlog.nz
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