Grainne Moss : Power of white middle class feminism in Wellington neoliberal bureaucracy 

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The Ghoul of Agencies Past

Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss steps down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down.

It comes after repeated calls for her to resign amid a number of scathing reportsbringing the Ministry into question.

Moss has been under pressure since a Newsroom investigation into attempts by social workers to remove a week-old baby from its mother in Hawke’s Bay sparked multiple inquiries and reports.

Not having to listen to Grainne Moss’s thick Irish accent lecture us about why the State needs to steal Māori children will be the first relief we gain from her ‘leaving’ as head of Oranga Tamariki.

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The extraordinary reality is that she is of course simply being shuffled over to another branch of the Wellington bureaucracy…

Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes said Moss was a dedicated public servant and leader who had made a number of significant improvements in what was one of the biggest and toughest roles in the public service.

“I commend Mrs Moss for doing what is, at this time, in the best interests of the agency,” Hughes said.

“What she has done today is selfless.”

She has accepted a new role as the chief executive leading the public service’s pay equity work.

“Mrs Moss led the successful pay equity claim for social workers at Oranga Tamariki- Ministry for Children and was also part of the team which developed and delivered pay equity to aged care workers. As such she has significant experience and expertise,” Hughes said.

…that’s the same Peter Hughes who used secret spies to spy on victims of State abuse in a 2007 case so that the MSD didn’t have to pay huge amounts in damages

Hughes was the boss at MSD when the Crown defended the White case in 2007. The civil case was about many things but it was essentially a test case about the Crown’s liability for abuse of children in state welfare institutions. Crown Law and MSD chucked millions of dollars at defending it because they knew if they lost there were thousands of other victims they’d be paying out substantial damages to.

…the same Peter Hughes who then decried the very use of secret spies he had used when the State got caught doing it again in 2018…

…so fuck anything Peter Hughes has to say in defence of a Wellington Neoliberal Experiment in welfare.

Moss is being reshuffled because ultimately she was simply following orders and they protect their own.

The way they protected their own over the State House meth scandal.

The way they protected their own when MSD took solo mothers to court over welfare debt they should never had been given.

The way they protected their own when the NZDF lied about Afghan civilian deaths

The way the protected their own when beneficiaries are queuing at 2am in the morning because the staff are so toxic.

The way they protected their own when prison riots break out due to inhumane conditions.

The way they protected their own when Oranga Tamariki lied and manipulated when stealing that baby.

The way they protected their own when MPI bent over backwards for commercial fishing interests.

The way their protect their own when Police illegally searched Nicky Hagers house.

The Left in NZ have to understand the first enemy of any progressive revolution is the neoliberal Wellington bureaucracy.

Oranga Tamariki is a neoliberal experiment in Welfare. The argument is that by moving in early and removing children automatically from pre-decided risks, that the cost down stream won’t be as high.

Oranga Tamariki IS NOT about the welfare of the child, it is about the welfare of the State!

The idea is to use big data to create automatic uplifts. No nuance of social worker intuition or insight, National removed parental legal rights and stopped parents from gaining legal aid to fight uplifts.

This is a system with no check or balance other than the Children’s Commissioner releasing reports.

We have allowed a neoliberal welfare experiment to have powers we fought wars to stop other nations gaining over their citizens.

To steal an infant from a mothers arms is the most fascist expression of power there is.

How dare we allow this abomination to stand.

But Moss won’t be held accountable for implementing this cruelty, National won’t be punished for creating it and Labour are too frightened of the PSA to demand actual reform.

In the world of the Wellington neoliberal bureaucracy, black lives matter, but white middle class feminism matters more. 

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25 COMMENTS

    • Agree 100%, never found the murderer of the Kauhui twins disgusting affair and it will happen again . Some Maori and Island kids just don’t have a chance with such useless parents and I don’t care whether Im a Baby Boomer, old white stale male , which apparently make me a white supremacist. Look at the stats, they are appalling, it shouldn’t really be up to the State to sort this domestic shit out after all if you have children then your an adult, so start acting like one. Cheers

      • Just like many non-Maori and non-Polynesian kids – lets be blunt, white kids, don’t stand a chance with useless white parents Paul. You really are showing your true colours (excuse the pun). What a shocking thing to say but it reveals the fact that you don’t really understand the deeper issues here and your admission as to what you label yourself is, very sadly, indicative of what you stand for.

        By the way, if you kept up with the news and current affairs you would be well aware that while the father of the Kahui twins was acquitted of their murders the Coroner made it very clear that he was the last and only person present just before they were killed. Unfortunately the system pointed the finger of blame at the mother yet her lawyer who is a top QC has made it very clear that she is not the murderer.

      • Completely agree . . Maori kids were taken off Maori mothers for a reason and that reason has nothing to be with either being Maori and everthing to do with those babies not be hurt or killed.

      • “On October 1, 2000, Nelson woman Rosemary Perkin (pakeha) ended the lives of her three daughters and herself – Alice, 8, Maria, 6, and 23-month-old Cherie.

        It received limited coverage outside of Nelson, and was soon forgotten by the media. In the two decades since it happened, Perkin has been mentioned in our newspapers around 40 times. Lillybing’s murder (Maori), which happened at the same time, around 460.” ..My brackets…. https://www.stuff.co.nz/pou-tiaki/our-truth/300159717/our-truth-t-mtou-pono-how-weve-made-mori-the-face-of-child-abuse-and-minimised-the-abuse-of-pkeh-children

  1. No Peter Hughes, Moss was not dedicated and transformative as a public servant, otherwise why would she flee the agency. More likely she is an entitled, greedy, obfuscating, sociopath wasting tax payer money and flitting between government departments to spread even more disorder and misery. Just like you.

    • Either that or she just never really managed to get effective control over a bureaucracy that was underfunded and had competing entrenched interests. Heads of departments don’t get to point the finger publicly at their underlings. She failed to change Oranga Tamariki for the better, and as the head she had to go, but do we really have to tear people apart when they fail? Even if they do have an Irish accent and are white feminists.

  2. Watch it Martyn. Despite what you say having actually happened, they (SSC, or is it PSC? and the Sideways Shufflers) will be playing the victims before too long.
    Shucks! You’re being rilly rilly mean to them – almost bullying (/sarc)
    It’s sad they can’t see why growing numbers are losing faith in our institutions. The examples are all around us.
    Neoliberal managerialism is antithetical to the needs of communities, marginalised minorities and the lowest, and increasingly the middle rungs on the ladder. I’m ashamed to have once been a part of it – albeit for a short time.
    Still sadder is that even within the existing cistern, there are ways for improvement – just not ones that preserve the status quo.
    I feel a bit sad for JA in some ways, and those colleagues of her vintage – in her adult life, she’s never experienced any alternative, and its as though any learnings in this space going forward have been learned parrot-fashion.
    Please! Someone put Peter Hughes and the Sideways Shufflers behind a gated community somewhere with term limits. Give ’em all bloody knighthoods if that’s what it takes.

  3. Great column Martyn.

    The Neo Liberal hardcore, and the sadistic regimes they oversee and enforce in the public sector, are totally New Zealand’s “enemy within”.

  4. You lost me when you wrote “ her thick Irish accent “ what makes your kiwi accent so special. You condemn her by the way she speaks and not support her for trying to save these vulnerable children.

    • Because we are sick and tired of hearing foreign voices telling us what we need to do OK, so glad this ffn obfuscating (tit sucker) Irish beearch has gone, now appoint someone who is a New Zealander of Maori descent to solve Maori issues.

      • What a pleasant person you are. I hope you are not responsible for any children with those irresponsible unhelpful remarks about a person that tried her best to protect NZ children. I remind you that there is no difference about a bias about people’s accents or the colour of a person’s skin.

    • While I feel a tiny bit sympathetic to your view, it’s possibly for the same reason a relative of mine who was taken to Scotland as a 6 month old baby, and then tried to return at the age of 29 with his wife and twin daughters was met at the NZ border. He was told by an ‘official’ with a thick ‘pommie’ eksent to PROVE he was a Mary. At least at that time, they hadn’t yet got around to a Joolie Krusty style formulaic reality TV propaganda series. (I guess she couldn’t get the rights).

      All this however is the inevitable result of how lil ‘ole NuZul has chosen to run its affairs over the past few decades. Once an overt little colony of the failing Empire, now one that prides itself on punching above its weight but with the same old shit from exceptional imperialists covertly pulling the strings.
      Is there some other way I could possibly assist you in finding ways to be offended? Let me know – I’ve got a heap of ideas. If you like, I could probably also advise on ways to find yourself.

      You can probably see how easy it was for an Orange Turkey to gain influence to the point of hero worship.
      Same shit with a maroon velvet suit inhabited by the cargo cultist’s son Billy TK (very Junior). It’s what happens when you run the sort of regime introduced by Labour in the 80’s, and perfected by the gNatz, AND one that Labour can’t seem to rid themselves of.
      Don’t be surprised – things will get worse before they get better. Shame about that. Cudda Shudda Wudda

    • I can’t help wondering how many of these comments are from paid trolls. You rarely see them commenting on any story apart from those critical of the public service. And they always push a certain line, in this case “it’s Maori’s fault” , and such figures only start rising, coincidentally, during the rogernomics era, and “shut up, she’s only trying to help vulnerable children”, despite the known facts. Me smells a rat

  5. Peter Hughes was regarded as a better CE of the MSD than his predecessor Christine Rankin just like Jacinda Ardern is regarded as a hell of a lot better than her PM predecessors. Hughes apparently once fired a bully on the spot without following due process, and I quite like a bureaucrat who steps outside the shackles.

    Moss had to go to defuse an horrendous situation, regardless of her culpability, but chances are the Oranga Tamariki policy makers are alphabet millennials from somewhere like the University of Waikato, and they can be obnoxious pains in the neck with half-shaved heads and inclinations towards arrogance.

    The crucial thing is that in future these children know that there was somebody on their side, and that the somebody was their own people. It is up to the whanau now, not to let them down again.

    It’s a pity that the myth has been perpetuated of govt stealing Maori children just for the sake of it, and a rotten sort of burden to dump on children and carers to score cheap political points. Children are too important and too precious to be used in this way. Some emerge from care with absolutely nobody they feel related to, and some are massively damaged through no fault of their own, and the best CE on earth can’t fix that single- handedly.

  6. ” Oranga Tamariki IS NOT about the welfare of the child, it is about the welfare of the State”
    YES !!!

    ” But Moss won’t be held accountable for implementing this cruelty, National won’t be punished for creating it and Labour are too frightened of the PA to demand actual reform ”
    100% YES!!!!

  7. Not a single word or any reference whatever here, about the original decision-maker in this whole sorry business – the Family Court!
    Why not?
    It is this Court which decides what action OT takes, if any, and OT then carry out the direction of the Court.
    Why else were there police present when the child was uplifted from its mother in the Hastings episode?
    It was to ensure the direction of the Court was upheld.
    OT do not have the authority to unilaterally carry out such actions.
    If its our system of justice, notably through the Courts, needs some serious reviewing, why not call it out for what it is?
    Otherwise it’s just an ugly bit of messenger-shooting.

  8. The churches of the Renaissance period were highly influential in establishing the myth that non-white people were inferior and generally only useful as slaves, and that their societies needed to be rescued from ‘unchristian and barbarous practices’.

    Funny (in a not amusing way) that Europeans have fucked up everything everywhere, in their quest to conquer the world and control it, and to conquer nature.

    Greed is NOT good.

    Interference with the natural order of things is NOT good.

    Fortunately the loot-and-pollute-and attempt-to-control-everything-and-everyone system is coning to an end.

    However, in these ‘last days of empire’, the proponents of looting-and-polluting-and-attempting-to-control-everything-and everyone will do what they have been trained by the indoctrination system to do, and what provides them with short term financial (and other) benefits. And will they will, of course, continue to fuck up pretty much everything they touch.

    Here it comes:

    Out of control coronavirus.
    Out of control financial system.
    Out of control CO2 emissions.
    Out of control CH4 emissions.
    Out of control people…

  9. Meh.
    The primary mechanism behind child abuse across the race board is poverty and it’s no surprise to this writer that Maori are simply more impoverished than non Maori and the reason for that, of course, is racism.
    But even in non Maori suburbs where poverty lies, there too lies violence, drug and alcohol abuse, shit living conditions and a scarcity of properly funded resources.
    I wonder? Have any of you with your giant brains ever pondered why it is that such a large rich country which excretes millionaires and billionaires is also short of cash when it comes to at-risk communities simply because there’s no cash to go around?
    Within our political system, a capitalist democracy, you will get the rich manipulating the politic for their benefit. The poor can’t manipulate shit. The only thing the poor can afford to be is exploited, of course, which makes good coin for the psychopathic riche and the behavior of the poor can be highlighted in an all bought and paid for msm and the conservative Kiwi can go all a tut-tut at the beastly Mearie when they lose their minds and whack the kids and the misses.
    You know who’s to blame for the Oranga Tamariki debacle? For poverty? For our abysmal decline in our working class societies?
    Our fucking politicians, that’s who?
    Those haughty scunthorpes who flake about in their Jimmy Choo’s. The pudgy, lazy, political perverts who lie to us so we vote them first class seats on the fucking taxes paid for gravy train.
    It’s not the victims of poverty, it’s not Oranga Tamariki, it’s not the cops, the banksters or the right wing or the left.
    It’s our politicians who enable this evil shit. They dominate us and we pay them very, very well for our on-going submissive subservience.
    We’ll know when things are changing for the better in AO/NZ when we see our politicians running for their lives.

  10. The only option now is to create a Ministry for Vulnerable Ministries to help this agency, get the blowhard thought leaders and wrap around wasters on to the problem (maybe parachute in the nerds Hipkins and Bloomfield aka Sherlock Holmes and Watson, if and only if they can drag themselves away from their covid whodunnit fantasy role play long enough. From my calculations the chance of one of the 500 people in managed quarantine since last year dying should be 99.998%; that no-one did means that Sherlock and his ensemble cast are just scaring the public with these latest announcements)

  11. The only option now is to create a Ministry for Vulnerable Ministries to help this agency, get the blowhard thought leaders and wrap around wasters on to the problem (maybe parachute in the nerds Hipkins and Bloomfield aka Sherlock Holmes and Watson, if and only if they can drag themselves away from their covid whodunnit fantasy role play long enough. From my calculations the chance of one of the 500 people in managed quarantine since last year who tested positive should die is 99.998%; that no-one did means that Sherlock and his ensemble cast are just scaring the public with these latest announcements)

  12. Choose your words. White middle class feminism is where feminism started. If you want to criticise the pakeha actions in taking Maori babies from whanau please don’t attribute it to feminism – which developed at a time when it was much needed.

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