Waatea News Column: Pakeha children will be better cared for under Maori structures

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Closing submissions in the urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing into the multiple failings of Oranga Tamariki wrapped this week amongst a call to completely dismantle the organisation.

While Māori make up most of those uplifted and taken by Oranga Tamariki, there are many Pākehā children being damaged by this state agency whose entire philosophical approach is to seize children using weakened parental laws and legally streamlined structures under the belief that the cost to the State later in the child’s life will be lower.

Oranga Tamariki is not about the welfare of the child, it is about costing the State less money and when that is your overriding principle, the entire system is corrupted.

If Māori are being resourced to take over this terribly damaged system, they must be funded to take in the Pakeha kids as well because it is my belief that pakeha children will flourish far more in a Tikanga Māori environment than the cold bitter harsh neoliberal Pākehā system we currently have.

I have been blessed to have my pakeha daughter in a Tikanga Māori education system and have witnessed first hand the power of those values upon her as a person and believe hurt children placed within that environment are going to have far greater outcomes than the barren neoliberal welfare system Oranga Tamariki provides.

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We should cheer the dismantling of Oranga Tamariki while saving all the kids from it.

 

First published on Waatea News.

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