The Children’s Commissioner has released his report into Oranga Tamariki and it is as pitiful as it is offensive.
The Children’s Commissioner grimly highlights the statistics:
- Māori babies are five times more likely to be taken into state care
- 69% of all children held by the state are Māori
- 1 in every 150 Māori children are taken into care
The report concludes what all these whitewash reports conclude, that the data is old (from 2017) and doesn’t reflect current practice with one un-contextualised fact that desperately attempts to eclipse the enormity of the problem held up as some type of glimmer of hope.
For this example its the minimal reduction in Māori babies being uplifted that is somehow a triumph of welfare policy.
What a load of ungracious sophistry.
Here is the truth.
This entire social experiment using big data to intervene early so as to not cost the State more money downstream is an immoral means to decide social policy and its neoliberal agenda to save money by defunding the universal provision of social services should be called out for what it is, the State protecting its welfare over the people they are supposed to be serving!
This weak response by the Children’s Commissioner highlights the utter lack of real checks and balances in the system.
Here is what needs to happen immediately.
Free legal resources for any parent involved in this process so that their rights are clearly defined and protected.
In case of a Māori uplift, Whanau Ora and local Iwi brought into the process to provide help before any uplift.
Uplifts are only for immediate danger and must be reviewed within a month.
These three ideas would require a budget increase, and of course, that’s why those 3 solutions will be turned down because this entire right-wing experiment in social policy is supposed to be cheaper, and if it starts costing more, then it’s not serving its purpose of protecting the welfare of the State over the welfare of a vulnerable child.
We should be ashamed of what this twisted piece of social policy has generated and it must be denounced in the most extreme manner available.
That the Minister of Oranga Tamariki and the Prime Minister have still not watched the Newsroom footage that sparked this inquiry is totally unacceptable.