Waatea News Column – The new stolen generation of Māori children


I am deeply skeptical of the new Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki was set up after a damning 2015 review of CYFS that extraordinarily found children were more at risk of being abused in State care than if they were left in their family.

Thousands of children were negatively impacted and in the 2013-14 year, 117 children were abused while in state care.

The National Government at the time claimed compulsory contraception information campaigns alongside drug testing beneficiaries and draconian welfare penalties would decrease the total number of children falling into State care in the first place.

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I’m not sure how making life more difficult for beneficiaries with children helped one single child held by the State.

That National was re-elected twice using such spiteful cruelty as social policy says a lot about us as a people.

So too do the current stats from Oranga Tamariki. They have taken a record 6000 children into State care and latest figures show those children being taken are increasingly Māori children.

So an agency that replaced a dysfunctional one which was abusing children is taking more children into care than ever before and they are taking Māori children at higher rates?

Sounds charming.

Where is the outcry over this ramping up of seizing children and what extra resource has been put in place to protect those children once they have been taken?

The state sanctioned incarceration of Māori children and Māori adults should shame us as a country.

Unfortunately the mainstream media of NZ are too focused on the ‘Kiwi Jihadi’ and Married St First Sight to ask questions about the 6000 children taken into State care.


First published on Waatea News


  1. Yup, don’t want to hear another excuse all day. Just want to hear a yup, found a flaw in the system and I’m gana spit shine the fucker with my god dam elbow.

  2. What you say Bomber means we are going to have ‘stolen children’ in NZ, following that appalling practice in Australia. The government needs to sort it out so overworked social workers aren’t making the wrong decisions. However flawed, past policy put families first (as carers). The system didn’t penalise the working class which by focusing on Maori it is doing. When I went to the UK in the 70s it seemed that problems with children were problems of the working class. After all,the middle classes are so much more caring and knowledgeable about how to treat children, lol!

    My father worked in Child Welfare and our family was close to much of what was happening about the welfare of children in the ‘old days’.

  3. This is one of those situations that I find difficult to lay blame. For the social workers involved and the people having to make the decisions about children in troubled homes it must be heart breaking work. It is also a completely thankless task – as this article high lights – because they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
    I suspect the answer to the problem lies in a mix of solutions that would include greater investment in services that can support troubled families and more investment in higher quality care for children that are removed.

  4. Maori need to take a hard look at themselves. Only when they face up their own behaviour will they begin to fix their own problems.

    Four out of five Maori children are born out of wedlock and international research shows that children born to single mothers are far more likely to be destined to suffer through life. Abuse in the home, FAS, depression, illiteracy, addicted, suicide, criminality and imprisonment.

  5. Andrew, perhaps you don’t know that in traditional Maori society many couples did not have formal rituals equivalent to today’s weddings, but got together informally like a lot of the general population are doing today. Past practices continue in most societies.

    You need to take a hard look at how dispossession of their land has affected Maori from 19C to the present day. It is hard for most of us when we are deprived of what is ours and then condemned for ‘not coping’. If I sound preachy, no more than you. I would rather think about values; caring human relationships which are special to NZ.

    • +100…and Labour Party Government Rogernomics and the neolib Ruth Richardson Nact politicians that followed

      ….making institutionalised unemployment a generational thing for Maori and Pakeha workers which impacted negatively on social economic and emotional wellbeing of their families

      ….this is where the blame lies, not in racism or an outmoded patriachal church ( god help us the Catholic Church)puritanical morality

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