Oranga Tamariki’s apology today for the appalling manner in which their staff attempted to uplift a new born infant highlights all that is wrong with our neoliberal welfare agencies and hints that nothing will change until the next filmed uplift embarrasses the Government again.
What most journalists covering this story miss is the neoliberal philosophy that shaped this National Party social experiment.
Neoliberal welfare is all about stripping out universal provision of services to just the worst cases that will cost the most, and it does this using big data to predict future crimes and current cost threats.
Under this philosophy, the Ministry for Vulnerable children was created using dead brown babies as their justification.
The old CYFs uplifts were weaponised and turbo charged.
Parents rights were legally watered down, the 0800 number took informants claims straight to engagement teams, parents weren’t eligible for legal aid to fight charges, parents became always guilty of future crimes and there is no oversight agency checking on whether or not the uplifts are justified.
The Public Service then brown washed the agency with the name ‘Oranga Tamariki’ and off they went with a white saviour mentality to rescue as many children as possible rather than provide an abusive family with all the wrap around services to help the family heal itself.
This has always been a cost cutting measure, the welfare of the child really is secondary and the welfare of the family doesn’t even count.
The so called safe guards of judicial oversight that Oranga Tamariki have pointed to as evidence that they aren’t an out of control agency with the most perverse state intrusion powers of any Government Department in NZ have been shown up for the joke rubber stamping process we always claimed they were in their so called apology where OT detail that the legal process was adhered to while the family were in the total dark.
There are no safe guards here, once OT have you in their sights they have the power to kick in your door and take your child with out so much as warning you.
The power to remove your child from you is the most intrusive power the state has, how can anyone feel confident that OT have the formula right when there are no checks and balances other than causing them enormous embarrassment by filming the uplift and sharing it on social media?
Newsroom did an enormous service to journalism with their investigative report on this brutal incident.
The next part of this story that is yet to drop is what is happening to these children who are uplifted and sent out for commercial adoptions. I’ve investigated the private company who are handling the adoptions and I can’t see the difference between what the State is doing here and baby trafficking.
There is far more to this terrible story yet to come.