Waatea News Column: Not Oranga Tamariki again?

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The task incoming chief executive Sir Wira Gardiner has with Oranga Tamariki was laid bare this week with yet another example of OT using extraordinary legal powers to simply uplift children without notice.

Christchurch GP and youth advocate Dame Sue Bagshaw wrote directly to Sir Wira Gardiner pleading with him to intervene in yet another case where Oranga Tamariki reflectively resorted to the blunt force trauma of an uplift without notice order rather than working with the immediate family and wider whanau for a solution.

As covid poverty starts to really bite and stress filled temporary housing and welfare solutions turn septic and matasticise, Oranga Tamariki is increasingly operating in communities who have become so degraded there are no structures of agency or economic self management left.

Attempting to rectify that ocean of inequality and impoverishment with a well funded child uplift service is an obscenity.

We have Whānau Ora funding models that provide wrap services rather than the silo neoliberal Pākehā models and we know that wrap around service is far more successful than the bleak neoliberal welfare model.

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Pākehā neoliberal welfare models are the problem, staunch Māori kaupapa is the solution.

Sir Wira Gardiner must convince Oranga Tamariki of this.

First published on Waatea News.