The latest Oranga Tamariki scandal

"I'm so useless Jacinda wears a mask and stands very far away from me"

The latest Oranga Tamariki scandal has erupted while the abuse by the State of children in its care continues to horrify…

More than 130 children and teens wrongly given electric shocks at Lake Alice

Police have identified more than 130 former patients of the Lake Alice psychiatric hospital’s child and adolescent unit who received electric shocks to their genitals or as punishment, rather than treatment.

…130 children tortured by electricity purely for sadistic punishment.

I’ve said it once, I’ll never stop saying it, the NZ State is the biggest abuse of human rights in the country.

While we are disgusted with the abuse of the past, Oranga Tamariki can’t even spend the money Government are desperately spending on them in the hope to make real changes…

Poor financial management forces Oranga Tamariki to review funding used from Budget 2019-2020

Poor financial management of sexual violence services has forced Oranga Tamariki to take the “additional measure” of reviewing what it did with all the funding it got in Budget 2019-20.

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In a briefing released under the OIA, the ministry said it was doing the review of “financial management and controls to minimise the risk of the issues described in this report occurring again”, referring to a damning report into its sexual violence services project.

It said it would give the review to the government by the end of this month.

Read the briefing report from Oranga Tamariki: Budget 2019 Funding for Sexual Violence Services (PDF, 2MB)

In the briefing, OT admitted its “inadequate” work and “slow delivery” led to the project having to be shut down last August.

“We did not get this right and we have let down the communities we were meant to be assisting,” OT chief executive Chappie Te Kani told the Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis.

His briefing came on the same day, 26 May, that RNZ detailed the damning report into the project.

Up till then, Davis had not been aware the project had had to be canned, he told RNZ earlier. He then asked Te Kani for more information.

…this is all happening at a time when the Children’s Commissioner has been removed as oversight over Oranga Tamariki…

Oranga Tamariki oversight: Minister Carmel Sepuloni defends changes amid widespread opposition

Labour is defending plans to overhaul oversight of Oranga Tamariki despite the vast majority of submitters, many of them state care “survivors”, and every other political party opposing them.

…let’s be very clear why Labour are bewilderingly amputating the Children’s Commissioners oversight of Oranga Tamariki by folding it into ERO (Education Review Office).

It’s because Labour are cowards when it comes to taking on the Wellington Bureaucracy!

As The Daily Blog has been pointing out for months since this was mooted, the State want the Children’s Commissioner amputated from oversight because it’s currently juggling the horrific Abuse in State Care inquiry which is highlighting the despicable tactics MSD used to discredit those they abused.

The sheer scope and scale of abuse by the State must be urgently smothered in an ocean of faceless bureaucracy so no one who was responsible in making these decisions can ever be held accountable.

Oranga Tamariki is a neoliberal experiment in welfare who justify their expense by arguing early intervention saves the State downstream costs so using Big Data algorithms can predict which troubled child will cost us more.

This has NEVER been about the welfare of the vulnerable kid, it’s always been about the welfare of the State’s wallet!

Recently, once the new Government made it clear that uplifting Māori children was no longer acceptable, Oranga Tamariki cravenly embarked upon reverse uplifting Māori children settled with Pakeha families because their are ‘culturally unsafe’. This sudden tide change in uplifting was driven not by any real danger to those children, but by a Bureaucracy attempting to pander to the Government of the day!

To ensure their arses are covered, the Wellington Bureaucracy want oversight removed from the Children’s Commissioner, because they are actually independent, and hidden inside the Education Review Office, the same Education Review Office that didn’t note all that sexual abuse at Dilworth over the decades they were reviewing Dilworth.

This is an arse covering exercise by the Wellington Bureaucracy over the most vulnerable children and Labour are letting the Wellington Bureaucracy get away with it because Labour are terrified of the Unions and power represented by that Wellington Bureaucracy.

Meanwhile vulnerable children are being hurt right now by a system that refers to them as ‘clients’.

This whole stinking neoliberal experiment in Welfare should be smashed to bits by Labour, not fucking protected or enabled!



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    • Bob the first. But the Labour government protects itself by appointing a Commissioner for Parliament. Just imagine the wails if politicians’ behaviour was subject to scrutiny by the Education Review Office. What’s good enough for ugly politicians should be good enough for our beautiful children, but fog gets in the eyes in Wellington, and right through into vacant craniums.

    • Bob National doesn’t protect kids either. The Greens have advocated to please keep the CC, but apart from them the NGO’s and charities are the people speaking up for vulnerable children.

      • Pip, sorry to disappoint but a young lad I work with in an NGO is having his bags packed and exited without another supported accommodation provider in place next Monday. In other words, they are throwing him on the streets because he doesn’t meet their kaupapa. The young lad has a brain injury and their kaupapa doesn’t include empathy. Not all NGO’s are created equal and you are quite correct, National does not protect kids, they never have done, remember Key and McGehan Close…

        • Bert That’s terrible, but it doesn’t surprise me. Same sort of thing can happen with newly released prisoners, and the outcome is sadly predictable. There are some outstandingly selfless people working in NGO’s and charities, as you’ll know, a very different calibre from mainstream politicians. The government actually depends economically on charities eg WINZ refers poor and hungry people to food banks and the like. Unfortunately, the NGO’s with evidence- based reports on children’s lives crippled by poverty, insecurity and homelessness appear to be ignored.

  1. Absolutely heart breaking what happened to children at Lake Alice, but worse, NZ police and lawyers did not investigate or prosecute properly, until one victim went to the UN.

    UN tells NZ to investigate Lake Alice torture allegations properly

    NZ lawyers got rich not paying out, victims got next to nothing.
    Treasury put aside 10 times amount of money Govt paid abused Lake Alice patients

    It is not justice to wait decades for acknowledgement of the torture and abuse for victims and small compensation too late for victims to meaningfully enjoy and attempt to recover from the abuse, with what is left of their lives.

    Neoliberal NZ! Where it’s all about abuse, cover ups and giving money to the powerful to avoid justice.

  2. With regards to current Oranga Tamariki, who knows what to do, apart from OT to get better qualified staff and defiantly better management that understand and are properly qualified with the complexities of child abuse so they can act appropriately and not fall back on bizarre race or neoliberal policies that abuse the child more.

    OT would be a very difficult job. Hopefully there are good case workers out there, but they clearly need much better managers and actually check properly on the children – especially ones that are vulnerable such as when their parents go to prison as they are probably already in a dysfunctional situation.

    Too many reports of OT staff who are paper pushers, liars or ones with a race/agenda axe to grind. Bad OT staff and incorrect reports, should not be protected in OT and by NZ courts instead of the children.

    Also too many examples of public calling in abuse, when there is none, while kids who are really suffering can’t get any OT to visit them properly.

    Another horrific preventable death. The average person should be able to realise that leaving a child in a cabin, with her prison mothers ‘friend”, and little OT supervision,’ is not a good idea. OT and the courts, are failing the children.

    Beaten, burnt and killed: Woman imprisoned after prolonged abuse, killing of 5yo Malachi Subecz

      • Bob.the first. Yes, all the recently reported instances of children’s lives being battered by OT’s incompetence and intransigence are heart breaking. One of the puzzling things about this seeming determination to dump the very effective Children’s Commissioner , is the power of symbols. Ardern, as essentially a public relations person must surely realise this. A Children’ Commissioner, publicly representing children, as somebody who is on their side, has a potent psychological impact, consciously and sub-consciously. Replacing this personage with a faceless anonymous committee, has an almost sinister impact. Were I a child trying to think rationally about all this, I think I’d feel that I’d been kicked in the guts.

        Being the first country in the world to jettison it’s Children’s Commissioner is certainly not a positive statement to be making about how Aotearoa New Zealand values the babies and the children who we kill and abuse in earth shattering numbers.

  3. one thing the media have assiduously avoided is the dead child who was given into the care of her mothers ‘friend’ and murdered…what exactly was the nature of that ‘friendship’ and did it trump the families preferences for fear of ‘ism’ and ‘ist’ allegations…in short to cut the bull did the mother and the murderer have a sexual relationship and did that outweigh family connections..not that any relationship should be frowned upon the fact that no one is mentioning the aspect is interesting…

  4. Meanwhile a judge in the Malachi case slams those who knew about his ill treatment for not speaking up. The boy’s day care centre took photos of bruises on him, but only questioned and accepted the response from the vile caregiver. This has been reported before. I was under the impression that educational centres were obliged to report suspected abuse to the authorities, but from what I read, there is no such obligation. If not, the law needs to be changed so that it is mandatory…….

    • Highly likely some of the day care staff were worried at the day centre, but were told not to complain to police/OT by someone. That is why there were photos in the first place.

      However the situation should have been handled and correctly investigated by OT as the child’s mother was in prison and the courts appointed the abusive guardian who was not related to the child and who the other family members did not agree with.

      The buck should start at OT/courts in this case for not noticing the abuse and allowing the child to live there in the first place.

  5. Vote appropriately in ’23 !
    Vote electorate for the candidate you regard as the most competent and representative of your principles, and Party who you believe has the best policies – and fuck the tribalism and identity politics. MMP was a hard battle to win and it is being abused by the self-interested political class. Fuk ’em and all who sail in them.

    Things are going to have to get worse before they can get better.

    This issue is a real shocker!! Unfortunately both Sepuloni and JA appear to have NFI except from a really comfy perspective looking on from above with their stubborn control-freakery and don’t spare the rod dispositions.

    IF this is really the issue that rattles your dags, then see above. It’d probably have to be party vote Green (unless MP and TOP come out with some sort of policy well before ’23).
    Otherwise – yea/nah ………. next.
    AND there’s still time for Labeen to review their intentions. (JUST!) But I doubt it will happen, in this space, going forward – they’re too committed to their fundamentals, so, ultimately it’ll likely be a hard landing for Labour at the next election as things stand. (What a fucking waste of the 2020 mandate. So be it)

  6. Ekshully, It wouldn’t be such a bad idea if someone like Efeso was to sit down with the Sep and have a ‘conversation’ with her – in this space, going forward.
    Meanwhile, if contributors to the TDB could come up with some spin that allows the architiks of this policy to save face, now would be a good time to give it.
    I guess one option would be to simply say the work agenda is so huge that it’ll have to come after the election – whereupon it can quickly be forgotten,

    • OncwWasTim Unfortunately you have identified the main problem here, that government members are more concerned with saving themselves than with saving the children for whom they are meant to care. It takes a big person to admit they may have got wrong and are having a rethink. There are none. The shameful silence of the Nats on this issue enables Labour to behave disgracefully towards our children, making them just as bad. I may return to voting Green again because of their honourable stance in this matter.

  7. “OT admitted its “inadequate” work and “slow delivery” led to the project having to be shut down last August.” OK, so it was slow, but presumably that meant some support was still being provided? So surely it was shut down and now nothing will happen until the review is complete (over the past two years) and reccomendations proviced. Then further time to implement said recommendations. then more planning etc. So in the meantime no support has been provided to these extremely vulnerable people. Surely it would have been better to have kept the program running until improvements were made? This is the problem, services are seen as an academic exercise without regard to the fact that there are people relying on them. Given the people planning and implementing, you can only think they are over qualified compared to their intellectual capacity.


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