The entire Labour Party Cabinet should be on their knees thanking God that the current Covid lockdown is distracting the attention of almost every Kiwi because if we weren’t so distracted, the genuine anger at what is happening inside Oranga Tamariki would be an all encompassing furnace of outrage.
The enormity of Sir Wira Gardiner’s extraordinary overreach by contacting two judges and attempting to intervene in an ongoing trial, ostensibly for grilling a Social Worker too harshly, is just so gasp inducing in its audacity that it borders on corrupt.
I have called for a very long time for Maori providers to take over Oranga Tamariki because I believe Tikanga values are far more healing and beneficial to all vulnerable children than the hollow costed values of our neoliberal welfare system that sees clients of their services as opposed to children in need.
What is happening here in Oranga Tamariki IS NOT tikanga, it is woke critical race theory the dogma of which declares no white family can give a brown child a good life.
By attempting to disrupt and influence an ongoing investigation into Oranga Tamariki taking back Maori children from a white family when that testimony is so egregiously damming of Oranga Tamariki is an attempt to not only corrupt independent justice, but also hiding the appallingly racist behaviour of a State agency using the most extreme powers a State has, that of uplifting children from parents and step-parents.
Now, one could argue that Sir Wira Gardiner was extending his protection to the OT Social Worker whom the Judge destroyed in questioning, but when you see the answers to how the Social Worker deceived and lied to the white step-family and the grotesque malfunction of Critical Race Theory making its gruesome calculation that despite telling the little Maori girl she was safe and would remain with the white step-family, Oranga Tamariki would split them up because the white step-family were too white!
I mean, sure Sir Wira Gardiner can claim the Judge bullied the social worker, but sweet Jesus look at what was revealed!
If your position is attempting to shut down a trial because too many truths and facts are coming out, isn’t that a tad on you?
Let’s remind ourselves of the lies, so many lies that the Social Worker used to justify psychologically harming a young Maori girl because you know, the heteronormative white cis male patriarchy…
There were some early signs, however, that the social worker might be out of her depth. The review filed in November 2018 said Moana had a close relationship with her grandfather. It transpired her grandfather had died five months earlier.
And while Social Worker 1 was filing these glowing reports, she was telling others in her office that the Smiths were stripping Moana of her Māori identity. She said she felt “incessantly undermined” by the Smiths and said the couple “attempted to sabotage whānau access” for Moana.
She pointed to the Smith’s “disregard for Te Ao Māori” (the Māori world view), and said they were incapable of providing Moana with the “cultural aspects” she needed.
The Smiths had no idea these conversations were taking place.
When she was asked in court why she didn’t include these concerns in her reviews, Social Worker 1 said she did but was told to remove them by her supervisor. (The supervisor would later deny this under oath, and said any changes he made were only grammatical).
Among the social worker’s concerns was an allegation that the Smiths had asked Moana’s daycare centre to refer to her by her nickname (an abbreviation of her name). This was “an attempt to remove her from her identity”, she said.
Social Worker 1 said the Smiths raised issues about Moana’s behaviour following access visits with her birth mother, and she saw this as the Smiths “making up issues to try and get reasons to have no contact”.
Another allegation concerned an access visit with Moana’s birth mother. Social Worker 1 claimed Mrs Smith pulled Moana away from hugging her birth mother and “proceeded to wipe her down with a cloth in what looked like an attempt to remove any germs”. She did not ask Mrs Smith what she was doing, but passed her concerns on to other Oranga Tamariki staff.
(Mrs Smith would later say Moana and her birth mother were not embracing each other, and she had used a wet wipe to clean Vegemite from Moana’s hands).
Separately, the Smiths held their own concerns about the social worker, and in May 2019 they complained to her supervisor.
A few weeks later the Smiths were informed that there were concerns around their attendance at access visits and the couple would need to undergo a cultural assessment. The couple were surprised about this and asked why it was required and what it involved.
Oranga Tamariki staff told the Smiths it was very rare – some had never been involved in one – and they were unable to provide any detail on the process or guidelines of such an assessment.
A meeting was held in late June 2019 in which the Smiths were told that Oranga Tamariki was concerned about their ability to provide for Moana’s cultural needs. The supervisor told the Smiths the cultural assessment would acknowledge “the good work you are already doing to promote [Moana’s] cultural identity”, and would hopefully provide some detail around Moana’s whakapapa.
When the Smiths asked why other Pākehā caregivers with Māori children were not subject to the same assessments, the supervisor responded that it was a good question, and all he could say was that there had been issues around access.
The supervisor couldn’t provide any brochures or pamphlets for the Smiths to inform them of what a cultural assessment involved. (The supervisor would later give evidence saying he felt the Smiths may have been directing “unconscious racism” towards Social Worker 1).
The Smiths believed the assessment was a ruse being used by the Ministry as a way to find them unsuitable and to have Moana removed from their care. They refused to take part.
…deceitful tricks and race accusations with no resources provided to enable the white step-family to help the little girls cultural growth…
The assessment was conducted by an independent cultural expert. His original task had been to assess the Smiths’ understanding of Te Ao Maori and their ability to provide Moana’s cultural needs, but that changed when the Smiths said they would not take part in the assessment, and he ended up looking solely at Moana.
His report was provided to Oranga Tamariki on September 11, 2019. It included scant information on Moana’s whakapapa, other than noting she had a distant relation in Taranaki.
The assessor, later giving evidence in court, would say a Māori child growing up in a non-Maori family would “not have the same opportunity in terms of inculcation of values,” he said.
He said it would be “extremely challenging” for a non-Māori family to raise a Māori child in the correct cultural manner, and failing to provide for cultural needs could result in a child’s health being compromised later in life. He said the decision on where Moana should be placed should lie with Ngāti Kahungunu.
…The ‘assessor’ uses critical race theory to deduce that this child will do worse with white parents, which seems an extremely limited view to judge this case on!
Look, if Oranga Tamariki can find whanau to place a Maori child with at the point of uplifting a child – all fine and dandy.
The recent involvement of Iwi stepping in to be that whanau resource at the point of uplift is a great development but that’s not what’s happened here.
In this case, as with many others, the Maori child has been placed with a white family for years and told they are staying with that white family permanently, to rip a child from the bandages of emotional healing and sense of security for some dogmatic implementation of woke critical race theory is the kind of zealotry that burns books!
The Judge didn’t bully this testimony out of Oranga Tamariki, and even if he did, what has been exposed is so damning that it justified bullying.
To attempt to intervene in the sacrosanctness of our independent judiciary so racist practices by Oranga Tamariki can be hidden is so disbelievingly outside the norms of our system it’s almost a Donald Trump level molestation of due process.
The Labour Party better hope the Delta outbreak sweeps the nation for at least another 4 weeks to hide this appalling ideological implosion inside Oranga Tamariki.
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