Waatea News Column: The latest Oranga Tamariki outrage


We have all been horrified by the brutality of Oranga Tamariki uplifts, we have all been shocked at the lack of oversight, we have all been angered by the total failure of checks and balances within a system that has eroded parental rights in favour of big data calculations that decide to take your child based on future crimes.

That horror, shock and anger however has managed to be eclipsed by the latest revelation of this deeply flawed Agency. Last week, Amnesty International harshly criticised Oranga Tamariki for allowing 14 year old children who have been uplifted from whanau or taken into custody by Police to stay for up to 48 hours in Police cells until they are found appropriate accommodation.

These holding cells can have 24 hour lighting, they are usually in solitary confinement and have questionable access to adequate food and hygiene facilities.

Just imagine, you are a 14 year old child who has been uplifted by Oranga Tamariki or picked up by the Police and your first 48 hours are in solitary confinement in an adult Police Cell. We are literally conditioning these teens into a life of imprisonment.

The Government have been made aware that holding children in adult Police cells puts us in breach of UN conventions but there is no intention of changing this any time soon.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

We have a broken system that conditions all those it catches into being just as broken.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. And what is our Minister Tracey Martin doing nothing! she said its better than nothing not really good enough is it and not exactly the leadership we are expecting of party that wants to make a difference

  2. And what is our Minister Tracey Martin doing nothing! she said its better than nothing not really good enough is it and not exactly the leadership we are expecting of party that wants to make a difference

  3. I guess the real issue it that Oranga Tamariki has no where to put the kids who in my view are probably considered in danger where they are so are uplifted or have got into trouble.

    I’d say that is the biggest abuse is the lack of resources being made available to vulnerable children who really need to have a safe haven, staffed by professionals who care and any sort of stability for them once they are uplifted.

    I don’t think Oranga Tamariki are a particularly trustworthy or well run organisation, however, they have a terrible job, just reading about all the abuse going on when yet another child is killed and abused horribly, imagine if that was your job every day seeing that stuff and all the false or minor complaints too which all need copious amounts of paperwork.

    It would be soul destroying and it sounds like OT often don’t even have a decent place to put the abused or troubled kids!

    The government and society, need to concentrate on the kids first and then go back wards from there.

    Starting with, having accomodation for the kids and a safe place for them with registered psychologists to help them from day 1, not some cheap inexperienced worker, or an inappropriate place like prison.

    If you look at the history of some of NZ worst criminals they are often treated like garbage as kids. Even if decency and compassion has gone in NZ for children since Rogernomics, then the economists can always use the neoliberal way of working out it is cheaper to help as children and youth early on, than 60 years of criminal behaviour and jail for society if they get it wrong!

    Now we are getting more crims coming back to NZ from OZ, our officials give anybody claiming residency a free ride and no criminal conviction once in NZ or get residency while in jail here, and our expanding drugs scene with records amounts of drug use and drugs imports here, it is clear that child abuse and neglect will be expanding too but the officials seem to be trying to save money in this area or spending the money on ticking boxes for lawyers and non nationals, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12248199 or doing other peoples jobs for them on minor cases, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12266024

    Therefore the government need to get off their identity politics spending and actually help our children who are at serious risk.. doing nothing is not an option…. they just become more dysfunctional and damaged adults….

    Compassion seems absent at home in NZ for NZ’ers since Rogernomics and child abuse and neglect and the expanding social bonds and money going to external private groups cashing in on social deprivation so that government can remove their responsibility , approach is not working for NZ kids.

    The expanding low wage, high population, expanding jobseekers and drugs use, in NZ are going to make everything much worse going forward!

  4. Actually Martyn you’ve gone off on a tangent about OT with wrong information again. The only teens who get out into cells are teens who have committed crimes like the ones who do arsons and rapes etc. I know this to be a fact. Get your facts right. All other teens are placed with caregivers.

    • Comrade – if an uplift occurs in the weekend or on a friday or when and there isn’t a caretaker lined up, then these teens can spend time in the Police cells until one is found.

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