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Dr Muriel Newman

Protecting Vulnerable Children

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Grainne Moss, the Secretary for Children and Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – the Government’s child protection agency – has resigned after four years in the position.

In announcing her resignation, Public Service Commissioner Peter Hughes said, “Mrs Moss is 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”.

During Mrs Moss’s tenure, he explained that “fewer children and young people have entered care, social worker caseloads have been reduced, investment in iwi/Maori services has doubled and the agency has developed new whanau care partnerships with iwi and Maori organisations”.

Mrs Moss will take up a new role as Chief Executive leading the Public Service’s pay equity work on 1 March. Sir Wira Gardiner, the founding Director of the Waitangi Tribunal and founding Chief Executive of the Ministry for Maori Development, has been appointed into the role while a permanent head is found.

The resignation of Grainne Moss marks the culmination of an orchestrated witch hunt against her by tribal interests seeking control of child protection services. They have long coveted the power and resources of this $1 billion agency and have relentlessly called for its disestablishment.

Since the Chief Executive stood in the way of their objective a vicious campaign was waged to undermine her credibility and force her resignation, with some media taking a leading role.

What her attackers underestimated was Mrs Moss’s resilience and refusal to submit to their bullying. As the first Irish woman to swim the English Channel, she is clearly no stranger to adversity.

However, when the new Minister for Children Kelvin Davis put politics ahead of the safety of vulnerable children and refused to express confidence in the Chief Executive, that became the signal for her to move on – despite widespread support from staff.

Stuff’s Martin van Beynen has described her as collateral damage in a culture war: “What worries me is that the main objection to Moss is that she is not Maori, the assumption being that, if the main clientele of a government service is Maori, a chief executive of that ethnicity would do a better job. The irony is that Moss has transformed Oranga Tamariki into a Maori organisation…”

He explained that a senior manager had contacted him in response to an article he wrote about the agency being treated unfairly, suggesting the narrative should be balanced by showing how their interventions had stopped heart-breaking abuse “which would horrify the public and create moral outrage: the baby who has been abandoned in the hospital by its meth-addicted mum with only a list of three potential fathers by its side; the boy whose mum had taught him that sex with her was fine; the young woman who was being groomed for prostitution by her uncles; the 2-year-old covered in sores who could barely walk due to malnutrition…”

The staff member also pointed out that Grainne Moss was responsible for the fall in the number of children needing care – “she has supported us to work the way we have always wanted – earlier, and in partnership with families, with a better level of resources… She is the most visible and approachable leader I have ever had.”

The campaign for tribal control of child protection services began in earnest in May 2019, when Ministry for Children social workers were filmed while attempting to uplift a new born baby deemed by Court order to be at risk of abuse.

According to the Ministry, uplifting a child is a “last resort”. The decision is made by a team of social workers, who have to convince a Family Court Judge that a child is at such serious risk of harm that removal is necessary. 

The incident sparked a number of inquiries into child protection practices, including by the Children’s Commissioner, whose Office appears to have now become radicalised. They published two reports, with their most recent, “Te Kuku O Te Manawa: Moe ararā! Haumanutia ngā moemoeā a ngā tūpuna mō te oranga o ngā tamariki” (which does not seem to have been given an English title), calling for the introduction of “by Māori, for Māori approaches that are enabled by the transfer of power and resources from government to Māori.”

Such a reckless recommendation to embrace the politics of Maori sovereignty and categorise vulnerable children by race instead of need, surely brings the Office, which has a statutory responsibility to advocate for all New Zealand children, into disrepute. 

Brian Giesbrecht, a retired Canadian Chief Justice, who, with 30 years of experience in dealing with indigenous child abuse cases provided the NZCPR with a report on New Zealand’s Maori Child Welfare Problem in 2019, strongly advises against categorising children by race: “When I became a judge in 1976 they were just starting to talk about turning the control of child welfare agencies over to Indigenous groups. This changeover took place during the 1980s, and 90s. The theory advanced by Indigenous advocates was that there were far too many Indigenous children in care because white child care workers did not understand Indigenous culture and the Indigenous way of life. If only Indigenous workers and supervisors could take over, the numbers would go down.

“For the next two decades a combination of incompetence and ideological zealotry condemned many Indigenous children to bleak lives. Children were regarded as the property of Indigenous tribes, and this lead to tragedies. Children who had been in stable homes with loving parents since birth were taken from their homes and placed in Indigenous homes, simply because the foster parents were not Indigenous.”

This is already happening in New Zealand with reports that four Maori children who were removed from a violent home by Oranga Tamariki in 2018 into a permanent placement with non-Maori foster parents, were taken away from their home and given to extended family last September.

In Canada, many children died while supposedly in the care of these new indigenous agencies, and the former Chief Justice strongly suggests that the only test should be the best interests of a child to grow up within a loving and stable family. 

With tribal leaders seeking to use the strong political influence they now have in Parliament to expand their power base into governance, it is timely to reiterate the warning given by former US President Barack Obama, who, with a Kenyan father, understood only too well the destructive influence of tribalism: “Ethnic-based tribal politics has to stop. It is rooted in the bankrupt idea that the goal of politics or business is to funnel as much of the pie as possible to one’s family, tribe, or circle with little regard for the public good. It stifles innovation and fractures the fabric of the society. Instead of opening businesses and engaging in commerce, people come to rely on patronage and payback as a means of advancing. Instead of unifying the country to move forward on solving problems, it divides neighbour from neighbour.”

Unfortunately, the sad reality in New Zealand today is that vulnerable families are regarded as a money-making resource by tribal leaders. They are peddling the lie that only Maori can provide solutions to Maori disadvantage in the hope of securing Government contracts that remain in place for as long as families remain mired in the cycle of disadvantage.

It remains, however, the core responsibility of Government to protect citizens from harm, especially vulnerable children. It is not a role that can be delegated to unaccountable private agencies.

A 2019 report by the Ministry for Children into the harm of children in State custody, identified why leaving children in the care of unsuitable parents is so dangerous: “the majority of the harm to Maori children happened in placements where they had been left with their family… parents were responsible for most of the cases of emotional harm and neglect – and much of the neglect was related to the parents’ drug use. Some of the neglect also involved young children being left unsupervised for significant periods of times on a frequent basis – sometimes during the night. The majority of physical harm was caused by parents and caregivers.”

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is Dr Michael Bassett, a former Labour Minister of Health and Waitangi Tribunal member, who has been closely following this saga:

“There is something genuinely nauseating about the witch hunt that removed Grainne Moss from the head of this state entity. Naida Glavish salivating on TV about her exit; the sight of those middle-class Maori Dames, fulminating against a Pakeha trying to do the right thing for young Maori. Did any of them stop to ask themselves why, when Maori constitute 15% of the population overall, they make up 60 to 70% of the children whose lives are in such a parlous state that they need to be removed from their natural parents? Why are they blaming others? It’s not colonialism, or institutional racism, and nor is it any failure on Oranga Tamariki’s part.

“Let’s scratch the surface of the problem beneath the slogans uttered by these kuia. In 2019, 79.5 percent of Maori babies were born to unmarried mothers compared with 35 percent of non-Maori. The same year over 6,000 parents added a new born to their existing welfare benefit – one in ten of all babies born that year. For Maori the ratio doubles to one in five. Children on a benefit from birth are more likely to experience abuse and neglect, material hardship, poorer health and educational outcomes, and contact with the Oranga Tamariki and the justice system…

“But when did you last hear any of our righteous kuia advocating more resources for family planning? Did any of them utter a warning as Sir Apirana Ngata would have, when Jacinda Ardern’s government gave mothers a baby bonus in 2018 for new children born to beneficiaries, thus incentivizing the production of even more potential recruits for Oranga Tamariki?”

Dr Basset has identified the problem that is at the heart of the child abuse crisis – women on welfare in unstable family conditions having children and relying on benefits for support, instead of the fathers.

Back in 1968, when 72 percent of Maori babies were born to mothers who were married, with 89 percent for non-Maori, there was no child abuse crisis. A survey carried out at the time showed that fewer than three children per 10,000 aged under the age of 16 were abused. But by the early 21st century, largely as a result of the introduction of the single parent benefit, the rate of substantiated child abuse cases had skyrocketed to around 70 children per 10,000 aged 16 and under.

New Zealand’s child abuse problem is largely due to the incentives in public policy that encourage children to be born into homes that do not provide them with the stability of two loving parents.

Changing those incentives should be the Government’s top priority if it genuinely wants to reduce child abuse. Categorising vulnerable children by race and giving full control of their lives to private tribal organisations, would be a gross abrogation of the Government’s duty – to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Minister Davis says he has “no concrete plans” for changing the agency – but he has appointed to an all-Maori advisory board four strong supporters of Maori sovereignty.

He claims to have a “laser-like focus on the needs of our children and making sure that they have the opportunity – like you and I had – to grow up in strong, loving families.”

What he does in June, when his advisory board reports back will be a real test of his Government – if they embrace the politics of separatism and division that will undoubtedly be recommended, to remodel child protection in New Zealand along racial lines, then we will know his fine words about prioritising the real needs of children are just empty rhetoric.

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*Do you believe tribal control of child protection services in New Zealand would deliver better outcomes for at-risk children?
Note: Please feel free to use the poll comments to share your views on any of the issues raised in this week’s newsletter.

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


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Michael Bassett spare us the hypocrisy. You were in Labour govts, which made dangerous TOW. laws and the 1974 Domestic Purposes Benefit Act. Go and lecture the now Labour govt. Monica
Of course not. Maori must have one of the worst records in the world for abusing and killing their own kids … but hell, let them do it … just don’t give them any funding them out of my money! Des
We should not give Maori the total care and control of the most vulnerable. June
The stats listed are so blindingly obvious that – this whole thing is NOT about the children at all. Maurice
It’s racist and wrong. They want to get their hands on the money, not the kids. jd
pure racism and time will tell when it is to late zelda
minister davis is a twat, already demonstrated in the previous govt., even more so in his current role. Why reinvent the wheel when the outgoing CEO has already repaired and improved it ??? alan
It would be like putting prisoners in charge of the jail. Clive
Just the opposite, I believe it would get worse. Graeme
I do not believe tribal control is save Peter
This Govt has an insidious plan for NZ and the continual pandering to 15% of the population who still have a bit of Maori in their make up is part of that plan – divide NZ even further, just as Biden is doing in America, get more and more onto welfare dependency, sanitise history to brainwash kids at school, while we run down services, create poverty and lead us like sheep towards to new World Order, great reset, build back better and create socialism/communism. Ardern is a very dangerous b…ch with a crew of gutless followers who really she saved our lives. I take responsibility for myself without her help. And what must all those different nationalities we now have amongst us, think about the apartheid system we are into? Carolyn
Excellent article, thank you. Sylvia
This is the ultimate exercise in racism and should be rejected. Are there problems with the present system? Yes! Is the cause inherent racism? NO! Is the solution institutionalized racism? Absolutely NOT. Like Socialism, it seems like a good answer but it NEVER works. FULL STOP. Gary
never. it would only add to it barry
CYF-alis will always be a disease on our nation. If it goes tribal, it will only be worse. Mark
Anyone who believes this will be good customers for tickets I have for sale in a raffle with the prize being the Rakaia River road bridge. This is just more carefully contrived chaos by the communist government in Wellington. Davis is totally inept. Ronmac
Tribal authorities already have the opportunity to intervene in at risk families. WHY HAND CONTROL TO THEM WITHOUT ANY PROOF OF BETTER PERFORMANCE. bRYAN
Very unlikely. Andrew
Remove the benefit for under 20’s. They should be working or seeking work and living with Mum and Dad if unable to find work. Disabled and special needs exempted of course but those terms have been watered down to now include almost anyone. Grant
New gravy train John
An excellent well thought through article. It confirms my thinking of Grainne Moss a strong woman who made immense change despite being vilified by Maori and other influential persons. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating! John
Fox and henhouse come to mind. Terry
Not a chance Tania
But you wont convince the maori. kevin
let the half cast mob take over but make sure they don’t get a penny from the taxpayer but use the huge amount that the gutless govt have given them over the years and when ( not if ) the children end up in the morgue charge every half cast that controls child welfare (not that guttural named organization) with murder. Richard
I see no reason why tribal control would deliver superior outcomes. Peter
the Maori control body will demand twice the present funding to run the organisation for just Maori John
This is yet another distorted, left-wing attempt by a spineless Government, to erode and dismember democracy and reasonable freedom, in this land. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, recent Facebook response to the outlandish Chinese verbal challenge,, is a disgrace and as outright gutless as the whole entourage of Labour ministers! They’ll sink N.Z. yet. Alan
The best professional person needs to take the position tribal decisions are not always rational Ruth
Totally agree with Dr. Michael Bassett. It has always been about the money, power and control. A society with racial distrust is broken and this govt. is driving that distrust. Sam
This is Apartheid, separate development. It is putting the Fox in charge of the hen house, and only sadness can come of it. Lionel
Why is this country rapidly becoming “all about the Maori” to the exclusion of the majority of Kiwis!!?Talk about Apartheid,Trev!!!! Henry
WE have seen the many cases where young ‘indigenous’ children have suffered extreme harm in the hands of their elders. THen the families ‘shut-up-shop’ when criminal investigations are started. NO good can come from the system when tribalism controls outcomes. Adrian
It will do nothing to improve or change outcomes for the largest group of at risk children, neither will it affect outcomes for other non-maori children. There is no evidence internationally to support this decision, quite the opposite in fact. Michael
They are the problem, but they are not interested in fixing it, as all they want is the money. Anyone who can fix it is to scared of being accused of racism. Hugh
The best interests of the child will not be the priority if this were to happen. The politics of tribalism will see to that. Louise
Where are the mainstream media’s investigative journalists when important issues are happening right before their selective eyes? Richard
Maori have proven time and time again that they do not value the lives of their children. Allowing them to live in abusing families, or with abusive relatives/friends has caused many unnecessary harm and danger occurrences to defenceless children, including loss of life. Take the Kahi Twins where no charges were made to those closest to the babies because they refused to report those guilty of this terrible crime to their own. What chance have those little children against this type of mentality ? Oh sure, their argument that Maori should look after Maori is no argument when repeated offences against the defenceless children continue to occur within abuse Maori families. Stand up to these people and stop making the Law an Ass by allowing this infanticide to keep repeating. Robyn
The problem is in Maori’s hands and they haven’t addressed it so it continues. and it will because we have a socialistic govt bent on allowing benefits for anything that will win votes russell
It is a rare event that agreement can be reached in Maoridom. Conflict appears to come naturally especially when money is involved so I do not see this proposal being conducted in a smooth and unbiased fashion. Gary
Child abuse statistics, like all other Maori problems, will only improve when personal responsibility replaces reliance on the welfare state.. A.G.R.
Violence against children, where children have been in the care of Maori families, is a matter of record, and concern. As yet a clear and convincing understand of why this is happening has not been established, and to conclude this violence is because the care of NZ children by the State is being done in ways that either allows for violence or even is its cause, is not clearly established. Peter
Time will tell, but in the meantime many children are put at risk both of their lives and futures tony
NO NO NO! No one has been charged with the deaths of the poor little Kahui twins. GOD DEFEND NEW ZEALAND FROM THE RACISM OF SOVEREIGNTY ACTIVISTS. CM
Surely we are all New Zealanders and all should be treated the same? Arthur
More likely to be a great cover-up. Kelvin Davies has no clue and should not be in charge. The solution is simple. remove or reduce benefits for unmarried mothers, make the fathers pay for upkeep. But will any government take away benefits? Of course not. But hand-outs are the basic problem. Sheila
But let them have their way and let%u2019s see the results. To be honest who cares let them sort it out themselves. Andrew
It will all be about money as per usual not children’s safety. Christina
Definitely not! Anyone who thinks this should read Ian Wisharts book on the death of the Kahui twins to see how some of these families live. Janet
Absolutely disgraceful. Easy to spend other people’s money without accountability, simply a matter of how can we demand more of it! Now watch the statistics of Maori child abuse become buried along with their coffins when the data is swept away because it doesn’t fit the political narrative that’s desired. It’s all part of the ‘Best in Show’ BS being delivered by these incompetent halfwits ruling by fear & obfuscation. My Maori family are disgusted by how some others Maori behave & we work tirelessly to support the real Maoris we associate with. Ross
Most of the Harm to children comes from Maori familys. Tribal control will only increase the cost to the tax payer, and will do nothing to stop the breading of children to single mothers. Don
Dr Bassetts statistics should be published. all over the from pages of our daily newspapers. esp the Northern Advocate Christina
Maori need to stop the “blame attitude” Mark
We just need to look at the history to know what’s best for vulnerable children! Ian
The characters who drive this whole issue of tribal control have not the slightest interest in the wellbeing of these kids. It is all about getting a chance to put their snouts into the trough and siphon off tax payer’s money. This whole thing will implode in itself when the socialists run out of other people’s money. Michael
No, no impartial enough. Lyn
They have had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate capacity to function yet the figures remain to show that nationally, they do not. Peter
We should look after our own children and so should everyone else. It is time we stopped having to pay for the irresponsible actions of others. Most wage and salary earners are struggling to get by and cannot afford these “do-gooder” government enterprises Sorry but reality sucks. Charles
Tribes are the main problem in the world Bev
Agree 100% children growing up in single parent homes many with different fathers who give no support…rely on benefits from government. Disaster Shirley
This is just the thin edge of the wedge, once they get this there will be other ministries they will be looking at taking over. It will be interesting to see what happens when the care of the children starts to go backwards who will they blame then. John
Defiantly not. Maori need to understand that home violence is rife in their community and hiding the violence behind closed doors is not going to solve the on going saga. Wayne
Sadly I do think that contract money is a perverse incentive to keep more and more children in need of their protection” Rochelle
I fully support what is said about a Mum & Dad giving a far better environment for bringing up children. A survey conducted by Monash University many years ago now, estimated that for every “single Mum” child, the State spent an extra $10,000 compared to a child from a 2 parent family. Together with this explosion caused by the benefit (and getting pregnant for the sake of getting money which was at one time advocated by one female group) one has to remember when making a comparison between the 60’s and the present time, we now sadly have a culture that is proportionately more into drugs and alcohol, both of which contribute to more children and certainly more abuse. Ted
Absolutely not. Racism at its worst; why are the majority of citizens so blind to it? Sarah
This country is going down the tubes. Tribal policies are the cause of most of NZ woes Steve
It is like giving the keys to prisoners steven
ENOUGH SAID ! sheryl
NO, NO, NO. Not a bloody show in Hell. Statistics prove it and this is more reverse racism which is stuffing our lovely country. I pity the unfortunate kiddies. Brian
The take over begins, racism at its purest. Surely there must be some world agency to put a stop to this apartheid government. & democracy no one has the right to stop a petition against Maori wards!!! Mike
most certainly NOT they can not even properly control individual family homes let alone a public service facility william
Tribalism is a problem in itself. I could see it getting worse and the clamming up of witnesses as we have seen in other cases. Alan
I had a very scary experience last week (from 7 meters away) when two ‘tribal adversaries’ had a torrid stand-up between their vehicles before one jumped into his bull bar armed 4wd vehicle to intentionally, at full throttle, smashed into a third vehicle across the road. Severely stoving in both doors and the door pillar before speeding off, I feared for the stability and safety, from this hideous example, of their likely viscous home life. Just another example of out of control vengeance rivalry. tribalism. A desperate hopeless situation for vulnerable at-risk children – in full view! Stuart
The stats speak the truth!.. It is clearly obvious there is racist bias at the forefront of Maori demands. Children are becoming pawns in the advancement for Maori sovereignty. STUART
I would love to think that they would be better, but I believe that there is not a show in hell. We will see. Richard
absolutely not Terry
The Maori activists are so bound up with tradition that they fail to see or make any progress into living in the 21st Century. There are many Maori who I know who have great respect for their heritage and past but who move with the times and are well respected and successful. Mike
So, the maoris want to run the Child Protection Agency? Well, why not? They produce most of the babies needing to be taken into care, they inflict most of the harm suffered by children, so it seems the obvious answer. All that’s need now is for them to fund it from maori resources. No, we won’t do that! I thought not. Seriously, if the level of harm suffered by maori children is not reduced, they will become an endangered species, and it seems the height of stupidity to put the responsibility for care into the hands of those who are causing the harm. TOBY
Definitely not. Jack
No. They have the public expectation that they will reduce child removal figures. But as a result, more children will be left in potentially bad environments, and we could see a rise in hospitalizations and deaths! Hugh
For the simple reason that all children suffering abuse should be cared for by one agency. Michael
Maoris looking after maori children is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house. The whole matter needs a complete change in organisation. Firstly, A name change to Ministry of Children. Calling it by a maori name gives most New Zealanders the impression it is a maori organisation run for maoris. Totally untrue. Secondly, The organisation needs to let all citizens know what is going on in regards to the good and the bad. Not until all are aware of the situation that it will become evident that the organisation is doing its job for the good of all children. Not until I had read this article was I aware of the pressure the CEO was under and it is a disgrace that older maori supposedly dogooders had the temerity to enforce her to resign. It is time that all New Zealanders both white and brown say enough is enough and put a stop to all this nonsense. Dennis
Actions speak louder than words. The Maori children taken away from their parents because of abuse are evidence that Tribal influences are not reliable. Just hushing the matter up will not help the children ;not will it teach the parents any better. Anoutside influence is called for. Harvey
No chance. It’s blind leading the blind. Unfortunately when this proves obvious it will be covered over, except in court appearances stu
Tribal control, well they,ve done sooo well looking after their children over millenia haven’t they next they;ll be reintroducung infanticide. So absolutely NO to any and all race based policies. It’s sickening Carolyn
Never worked in the past and won’t in the future.rather than throw money at it try common sense Barras
What a “cot case,” apathetic, dumb Kiwis have let this country slide down to. Our comparative performances in education and health all point South thanks to kindness, inclusiveness, diversity and being offended. What happened to excellence? Well done those who brand as Maori. You are nearly there. David
I believe it will make it worst. At present if the extended family can’t help or look after these children that are at-risk, what will a tribal control of this service do to stop this abusive behaviour. It will not. Raewyn
I feel it will make things worse. When the perpetrators are not taken to task many more lives will be lost. Clive
That would have to prove that to me first Gail
Absolutely Not !! carol
What is this country coming to?Has no one in government got any brains or are they al puppets Sure let the tribal elite run the child protection agency but use the millions the tax payers gave them When at risk children are removed they moan and groan but if one gets killed they say it was known the child was in danger why was nothing done This could be a terrible way of getting rid of unwanted children so let them have a go Peter
The tribal control could have already been implemented by them, without needing government approval if they were interested in their children’s welfare. Sue
You have to be joking john
I have seen no evidence that this is so. Paloma
Absolutely not. I’ll happily put my name and money to a political party, whose sole aim will be to push back hard on the growing racial divide in our country. Bruce
Our country is being destroyed from within. Bill
Iwi and Whanau have the opportunity to step in and take control well before OT get involved. Unfortunately they are more interested in getting money rather than the children David
But they will get it and tragically the children will suffer further and all we can do is say, well we told you so and no one will be accountable richard
Strong Parental Control brought about by very firm, strict training is the answer. Also child benefits must be given in voucher form so only used to buy children’s necessities. Blaming colonization is a cop out to cover Maori inadequacies. “OT” should also be funded from treaty payouts. The tax payer should not have to pay Maori trice. This Govt is the most racist ever. Graeme
It is outrageous to think that this Labour government is turning over the fate of vulnerable children to Maori activists. We all know from the past that Maori conveniently say nothing when one of their own is named as an abuser of a child and there will be more of this if Maori have control. Mary
Looking at the kuia I thought ‘Oh my gosh’. I have been associated with one of them in the past and the change has totally surprised me. Dick
NO NO NO. “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” q Aristotle. We see those results in what is produced by “Tribal Leadership” every day. The Genie is out of the bottle. You will never get it back in. Think about it when you are singing “God Defend New Zealand’. (The English version that is) Bruce
it will be a disaster anthony
It will appear as if these changes are doing a fantastic job because they will write the reports and fudge the results. Nobody will effectively audit the numbers so all is well in the Maori world. And all done on a minuscule budget of 1 billion dollars. Bloody amazing. Mike
Some of us remember when Maori were given access to Two ward in Carrington Mental Institution. This was a total disaster especially for the patience under their control. Wendy
Muriel Newman says it all. June
The babies could be helped by whanau now, but the $ means …. Tom
How will maori children recover to normal when tribal control collapses John
If they want the Oranga Tamariki then let them have it. Give them a small slice of the budget and we will carry on with the Ministry for children. Colin
More apartheid Frank
we all know this is stupid. norman
Appalling idea! clive
Evidence of the Canadian experience and the statistics emanating from flawed socialist policies clearly indicate that tribal control and increased state support actually result in the opposite of what was claimed would result from the implementation of tribal control and increased state benefits. The Minister appointments appear to be akin to pork-barrel politics, and not ones that indicates his belief in his leader’s “team of 5 million”, albeit this was one of the $12M slogans produced to support his socialist/communist government’s attack on COVID-19. Michael
Absolutely not. Unfortunately Maori leaders further the false premise Maori control is best for Maori when in fact history shows this is not the case. David
The welfare of a child should be based on their NEEDS, not their cultural or racial background. Children come from all sorts of cultural and racial backgrounds (yes, including “pakeha”) but they all have the same basic NEEDS – ie, love, security, stability, and the usual basics of food, clothing and shelter. None of these things depend on culture or race! Jacky
it’s been a failure in other countries Neville
This is just another power grab by the stone age people.I think the time has come to make a stand against this blatant abuse by maori and their take over tactics.Why is it they think they are so special? Ross
Back to the same old same old, kids will not be protected. Graham
Hold dead beat parents to account. At best such lowlife parents are child abusers and deserve the full wraith of society and the law. Richard
The new borns of Maori descent should have 2 loving parents. David
typical maori bullshit allan
After nearly 40 of exposure children are still brutalised in state care. Kevin
Growing up in a caring and loving environment that leads them into a safe and structured education is just so important. for all children Barry
Money should be put in to birth control.Fathers should become liable to support children born out of wedlock. Douglas
Dr Bassett has identified the root causes. Stop the benefit to baby factories. Doug
Words fail me ! David
Yeah Right! J J
Of course not. In the words of M10… you’re dreaming mate. Maddi
Maori children are often abused by family members and could be at greater risk if the criteria is race, rather than loving and caring foster parents. The experience of indigenous children in Canada, which has a tribal system has resulted in increased abuse and more dead kids. This move by Davis is just another example of apartheid practice, illustrating that we are headed towards separatism under this government. Kerry
Cases will be buried. Children will not be protected. Helen
Definitely not.In fact the reverse is the truth. David
Most definitely not. The number of children these people have is driven by obtaining ever more money from the State. Family planning and good parenting should be brought forward for these people. I feel the State is letting these vulnerable people down and it’s only going to get worse unless something is done about bad parenting and the increasing number of children born to beneficiaries. There should be no more money given out to mothers on a benefit, thus eventually reducing the number of children born to them. Helen
On a recent newscast, the Judge made the comment that 40% of the youth coming before the courts had significant brain damage as a result of mistreatment during their early years. He also noted that most of the youth before the courts were’Polynesian”. And the maori elite want more control! Better start building more jails, cause they will be needed. Maurice
Are you joking. Albyn
The statistics speak for themselves! A major sterilisation programme needs to be set up to control the babies for money industry!! Beecroft Childrens commissioner needs to go also!! This is a racist action against Mrs Moss! Wire Gardiner what a joke!!!! Ron
Absolutely not and the article in the NZCPR explains the reasoning very well. I feel absolutely sick at the way NZ is heading and the biggest losers will be those poor children. Tribal politics needs to be abolished if we want a healthy society Emma
Tribal care of infants was a disaster before colonisation. What makes these haters and destroyers think they can protect their young better than an independent state organisation formerly managed by what appeared to be a very smart and caring leader? WE all know what will happen if the tribes take control. The rich get richer and the poor continue to suffer but it will be hidden under a cone of silence in exactly the same way responsibility for killing these young ones is covered up now through a well practiced see nothing, say nothing cone of silence. It is past time the responsible people in our society were allowed to sort this mess out and handing this responsibility to a tribal system will have disasterous consequences for the next generation of children born into poorer socio economic groups. Chris
Unmarried/partnered mothers should not be rewarded for producing unwanted babies. One ‘mistake’ perhaps but no more. Why should the taxpayer meet the costs associated with these unprotected moments of pleasure???? Alan
More entrenched APARTHEID in NZ. Geoff
A national problem. Their maori causetive below accepted base line. Let them fund their own solutions. Kids have rights too. No positive corrections supplied in alternative. mike
Another government mistake in favour of Maori again more of these children will suffer abuse at the hands of their parents or family members, Digby
This is even worse than non-elected Maori members of local bodies. Keith
Of course not, only a fool would think other wise. On this overall subject of Maoridom it is time we outlined what makes a Maori. As it is there are no true Maori’s left , only part Maori, many of whom would not even be half Maori. So we now have many so called Maori claiming to be Maori when they are not, but all wanting to get on the gravy train, which this government is stupidly providing. It is time that Maori have to prove they are at least half Maori before being recognized as Maori. Will the powers that be take up the challenge ? not likely. Tom
Absolutely NOT, and where would this leave the other 85%? of possibly vulnerable NON MAORI CHILDREN. Maori need to look to their statistics and work on prevention (be it starting with birth control) not blaming the agency that is truly trying to save ALL these vulnerable CHILDREN. So sad we are being forced into a very racist country. Rita
How can it be when the statistics say otherwise Warren
Tribal control = giant leap backwards against everything western democracy has achieved Dave
We cannot allow any part of Government to be decided on a race based decision Petr
Years ago Dame Turia stated it didn’t matter about the welfare of maori children, ‘we have to breed more so we can take control’ was the gist of her statement. She shouldn’t have bothered, control is being gifted buy the ’empty drum’ that is our PM Allan
The state apparatus needs much more change to move away from the arrogant, clearly disproven belief that the state can parent better than parents can. However, the state will still need to provide its relevant infrastructure to deal with non-Maori cases. Aside from not addressing the real issues around child protection responses, delegating child protection to Maori groups will involve huge duplication of services and costs. Johan
There is so much truth in this article – single parent families struggle and to pay extra for benefit families to have more children is absolutely sending the wrong message. Cecilie
Tribalism remains an impediment to Maori progress.Retain identity,yes but intergrate with dignity. gale
Why not give the fox the ownership of the whole damn hen house and control our government to boot. Just preposterous. John
This is a government department and should be available for ALL children. If Maori want to run their own child welfare programme (and there’s nothing wrong with that) they should be allowed to do so, but not at the taxpayers expense. I like the idea of Maori finally taking responsibility of their problem but then they should be paying for it. Jenny
Lets get real. Brian
No way. Just look at past stats Joe
Absolutely NOT this is a tragedy that will hurt Maori Children the most, at the hands of their “Own People” at the expense of ALL Tax Payers of NZ, regardless of the colour of their skin. We foster aparthied almost every day of the week, this but just another example. Will we take to the streets and parks to protest as before. I think not. 🙁 Stewart
Tribalism is not the answer, it is the problem. Errol
Is it what we call putting the fox in charge of protecting the henhouse? Sure is! John
Separatism only divides a nation. Cultural believes can be taking into account but not to the detriment of safety of children. Mary-Ann
Had it been done the “other” way, Maori would have been screaming RACISM !!! However, in the silly, pathetically-PC way we allow our MMP elected idiots to impose such outrages without protesting such outrages loudly ourselves, our society is headed for the plughole. Jim
Just look at the Maori record and you will get your answer Dave
It is way past time to end all the racist bullshit that threatens to destroy the very fabric of our once great nation. Kerry
Racism out of govmnt & all legislation Bud
Giving the fox the keys to the henhouse Rick
To base this important function of government on a false ideology will serve only to entrench racism in our society. It will undoubtedly lead to worse outcomes for the children involved. Igor
Not at all. Just another power and money grab for the Maori elite and their cronies. Brent
it will be a disaster Geoff
Follow the money – looks like just another gravy train driven by hateful racists. All aboard! First stop ‘Dividedness’ next stop ‘Ruin’. Tony
Unlit the true causes for child abuse are addressed we will never make permanent changes for the better. John
This is just another step towards acceptance of the fact that this Labour Government under the stewardship of an inexperienced leader find itself making decisions to pass the real hard questions onto adhock politically appointed groups that have self interest as the core motivator.. The worry with the all Maori group that has emerged in respect to child abuse is that they will not only be in charge of the distribution of a large financial budget which history shows will be spent on everything but it’s purpose without any audit and at the same time the abuse of Maori children will increase twofold. Barry
What about the pakeha in most of the maori children. Brian
Michael Bassett Says it well! Sandra
They would make abuse even worse. They don’t care for children it is just another bid for sovereignty and access to money Thomas
Just more of the same old rubbish by a minority of stirrers…such a tragedy for our country and maori people in general. Roy
We need to consider children by their need not race. We do need to place uplifted Maori children in whanau if suitable whanau available Norma
NO. No chance! This will become a major disaster for NZ, mark my words. The history of tribal control creating bigger problems is well documented. We head down this track at our peril. Grahame
Why would any sane person give control of abused children to the main tribal abusers ,what of the non tribal children . This is madness for financial gain , I guarantee that as happened so often before this will fail all children Vivian
By handing over control to the very people that are causing the problem will only make it worse!!! Bruce
More Racism Gret
race based policy again Bryan
Absolutely not. Watch now for a lack of transparency. NZ will never know how bad things are. Lawrie
Absolutely not. 70% of children in Oranga Tamariki’s care are Maori, who make up just 15% of the population. What a disgrace! Maori’s explanation is of course that systemic racism is to blame. Well you would say that to explain away such a terrible statistic. It’s always much easier to blame someone else for your own failings than face up to them yourself. Now Maori want to fix their own problem…or do they? They see the organisation as the problem but OT is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. It’s not the root cause of all the abuse. They want to clean up the ambulance by keeping child abuse back in the Maori community…a recipe for disaster and tragedy with more children suffering worse and for longer. What I suspect will happen is Maori will effectively be given operational control of OT but the government will ultimately still be responsible. Then when things don’t improve or get worse the Maori elite will still be able to point the finger. That’s just how Jacinda and Kelvin want it because they can’t risk anything that makes Maori look bad. That would risk their whole pro-Maori agenda. Nobody mentions the 30% of non-Maori children in OT. Does anyone actually care or will they just be collateral damage? Derek
Absolutely not – will make things worse Dave
They claim the village raises the child in Maori culture. If that were true, why isn’t it happening now. I would bet my house, if granted, the first thing they will ask for is more funds. If the existing agency structure was given that, it would also do a much better job. steve
How can the children be better protected by Maori control, when Whanau are overwhelmingly involved in the abuse and killing of their children? John
Absolutely not Graeme
It’s a problem that has vexed political Parties for years. And I haven’t seen anyone, or party come up with a workable solution. Carl
It is amazing how so few of our people are now starting to run the country and controlling how our duly elected politicians do what these few people want. bill
the whanau are the problem in the first place. Do away with single mother benefits and we may see a reduction in children being born into this mess Erin
This racism has to stop. It has got to the point that anyone who speaks out is immediately targeted. There is enough information out there that shows why 17% of the Population are included in the 70% of the Population who are in Jail. The 17% of NZ’s population are just as New Zealanders as anybody else they just have to break free of the Maori Elite tribal system. Overheard a comment made at the Airport several years ago, made by a Maori returning to New Zealand for a family gathering. This person saw the Whanau gathered at the Airport to greet everyone. Nothing has changed. I will just get the next plane back to Australia. frank
Tribalism never solves anything. It is anti-democratic (not that the Labour government cares about that – e.g. Maori wards) and merely fragments whatever service or system it is applied to. It lines the pockets of the tribal elite, at the expense of the rest of us. And of course, when it fails, then suddenly it’s everyone else’s fault. Graham
It will just encourage more nepotism Willy
and I dont care , as long as we the tax payer doesnt pay for the ensuing fall out. if they want control , then they should finance , what will turn out to be just another fiasco. Roy
The proof of this “pudding” will be in eating. In digestible Jeff
It is well past time when people stopped using the term child poverty and identified it for what it is. Child neglect, created by handouts and no accountability Anne
In the 21st Century after 200 years of education and billions of dollars spent on Maori development and affirmative action why are Maori still deferring to tribalism on anything? This is just another gravy train ride for those at the top of the tribal food chain. Max
Michael Bassett is absolutely right Peter
Tribal control will worsen and conceal the problem of Maori abuse of children John
Maori will hide more Maori kids taken from Maori families. Kevin
more me me me maori less us, us, us kiwis OR is it just about the money?? kelvin
They have proved in the past that thie ideas don’t work in a modern democracy. Graeme
This entire issue has been politicised to help lock Maori into Aderns socialist plans for the future of NZ Mike
Definitely not. alan
Does not work in other countries, why should it work here ? Jack
It’s disgraceful that we are actively encouraging benefit dependant parents to have more children while they already cannot provide for them. Deb
Maori just want control Jimmy
Apartheid policy – apartheid outcome. Brett
They can’t manage themselves Mike
Tribalism and separatism are the curse that will surely destroy this country if we allow them to fester and grow. Roger
Racialism is failing its supposed beneficiaries and rewarding its arrogant leaders Mike
The Maori elite who will take over OT have no interest in the welfare of deprived Maori children and we will see more and more outrageous treatment of them by abusive relatives. This will be brushed under the carpet as the observers who point these out will be targeted as racist and bigoted. Unfortunately this elite will be more interested in their titles, high paying jobs and ensuring their snots in the Government trough. This will not improve any of the outcomes for children in socially broken families and will be an indictment on this country. Brenton
Another rort. Sheena
Will anyone in the government be brave enough to provide an accurate idea as to how many millions of dollars have been wasted on the significant number of reviews of this agency, as well as the set up and operational costs for the new agency and, more importantly, whose fault will it be if it doesn’t work this time, which is highly likely. The other question is, who will have both the desire and cultural competency, to look after the non-Maori vulnerable children, or will there be a separate agency? Remember that this is the most open, accountable and transparent government that NZ has ever had, Labour and Green’s words, not mine. John
I agree with all that is said …and it’s shameful Bill
Where will the blame game go now??? Peter
Michael Bassett hits the nail squarely on the head. The welfare payouts are promoting and perpetuating the problem. Mark
Infanticide was common practice by Maori in pre-colonial times. Their concern for the best interests of tamariki does not seemed to have changed. Bryan
Children often put in care of Grandparents, who can be worse in their treatment of them. This was established by an inquiry some time ago, but ignored to “keep it in the family” Ross
No – absolutely NOT. Privatising child welfare to Maori businesses is absolutely unacceptable. Protecting vulnerable children is the responsibility of the State. Murray
The best interest of the child should be the ONLY consideration.  Gavin
The government would have to be mad to give control of at risk children to tribal groups – surely! Who would be there to protect them from abuse? Is the government planning to wash its hands of these vulnerable kids, because that’s what it sounds like.  Rachel
The government must not give in to iwi leaders who want to make money from disadvantage. What incentives would there be to empower vulnerable Maori families to become independent, if their tribal leaders see them as cash cows.  Dennis
The ultimate responsibility for protecting vulnerable children rests with the State. They can contract out support services, but not the responsibility for their safety.  Nigel