After the horror of the Royal Inquiry into historic state abuse, the Ministry of Social Development wants to remove the Children’s Commissioner as oversight of Oranga Tamariki and instead roll such monitoring into the Education Review Office.
In the decades that ERO was monitoring Dilworth, they never picked up that some of the teachers were molesting their students so critics are concerned that a state agency with the power to take children from parents will have less oversight is deeply concerning. Surely Oranga Tamariki requires more oversight, not less?
Public Services Commission Boss Peter Hughes was the chief executive at MSD in the 2000s and oversaw obscene tactics that included hiring private detectives to dig dirt on victims who were complaining about being abused in state care in a Test case that if MSD had lost would have cost the State untold in damages. Peter Hughes is now recommending any abuse inside Oranga Tamariki is now monitored out of the Education Review Office who have no skill in this area. Why is the state allowing itself to cover up ongoing abuse?
Oranga Tamariki is a Frankenstein monster, a neoliberal welfare experiment conjured up by Bill English and big data.
The argument is that children from backgrounds with specific features were the worst in terms of cost to the state, so if the state stepped in and removed the children quickly enough, that cost will fall.
To do this they passed law reducing the legal rights of parents, streamlined their 0800 numbers and weaponised uplifts.
They also ensured that people with children taken from them are ineligible for legal aid so they couldn’t fight back legally.
Oranga Tamariki has always been about saving the State money and the welfare of the child is secondary to that isn’t it?
If Carmel Sepuloni merely rubbers stamps this attempt to future proof the state from holding abusers to account, Jacinda should sack her as Minister.
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