Let’s put aside the fact that Oranga Tamariki is a brown washed state agency powered by white saviour delusions using neoliberal settings to argue immediate intervention to save the State money downstream.
Let’s put aside that the monstrosity of Orange Tamariki was cooked up by National to use big data to defund universal care to just the worst case scenarios.
Let’s put aside that we are punishing people for future crimes they haven’t committed yet.
Let’s put aside the streamlined 0800 nark line so accusation can be enacted immediately.
Let’s put aside that there is no independent checking system to ensure children aren’t being taken inappropriately.
Let’s put aside that parents are disallowed legal aid to challenge the state when they are taken.
Let’s put aside the lies and manipulations these social workers use to steal new born infants from young mothers.
Let’s just focus on the horror conditions the state then dumps these children into after the have ‘saved’ the child…
Mattresses wrapped in hard plastic, metal toilets, strict routines, and bullying that has a teenager eager for isolation in a dirty, stinky cell.
The locked and concrete care and protection residences, home to children New Zealand has deemed too difficult to deal with, are a “hard place to be happy in”.
“I think they are setting ourselves up to fail … We can’t cook, we can’t keep our fitness up,” says one girl.
“[The secure unit] is dirty as – it’s worse than the police cells … People piss all over the floor and stuff,” says a young man.
…we have a system of uplifting kids into environments as brutal as where they’ve been taken from!
Out of the frying pan into the underfunded state oven, what a wonderful outcome!
Oranga Tamariki is a neoliberal welfare experiment started by the previous Government to underfund universal state care to just the worst cases using big data to predict future crimes. It has no checks or balances and now we find out that the kids being ‘saved’ are being damaged in the state care we’ve thrown them into.
The Left have traditionally looked to the State as the great redistribution of wealth and the organs of our egalitarian system, but since the Labour Party reforms of the 1980 when neoliberalism turned everyone from citizens into clients, the neoliberal welfare agencies are a weapon to beat the poor and vulnerable so that they refuse to engage in the first place.
The Left need to understand that if we want real reform, then it must start with a total rebuild of public service and a rejection of neoliberal values. That the toxic environments of WINZ and Housing NZ and MSD and every other state agency tasked with progress must stop seeing their job as punishing the poor but in genuinely being concerned for their welfare and agency.
Oranga Tamariki defends its existence and weaponised uplift powers by waving dead brown babies in our faces as if that somehow justifies allowing the State enormous powers to step in and remove a child from a parent with no independent oversight, no means of legally challenging them and dumping those children into State care that doesn’t have the funds to care.
If you are not outraged by this, you are not paying attention.