Waatea News Column: What is now happening at Oranga Tamariki is utterly unacceptable and dangerous

What is now happening at Oranga Tamariki is utterly unacceptable and dangerous

It is very, very, very difficult to understand the Government’s thinking in replacing Oranga Tamariki oversight from the Children’s Commissioner to a faceless 6 panel bureaucracy hidden away inside the Education Review Office.

The Government’s position is that the Children’s Commissioner was only temporarily providing oversight because Oranga Tamariki had been given immense powers with very little check and balance.

The inclusion of the Children’s Commissioner to provide oversight of Oranga Tamariki was almost like a last minute after through put in place until new internal oversight structures were put in place.

Now while those new internal oversight structures are ready and operational, it still makes no sense why you wouldn’t want the EXTRA oversight the Children’s Commissioner brings?

The new structures will not be able to advise on establishing complaints systems for children or monitor the types of complaints made!

That seems to equate to a removal of real oversight alongside the purposeful decision to blind the new watch dog!

We want our vulnerable children protected, and as we can see from the terrible litany of damage being exposed in the Royal Inquiry into historic State abuse, vulnerable children need as many oversights and protections as possible!

Removing the Children’s Commissioner and replacing them with a blind watchdog only allows the State to hide its abuse of children in its care, it doesn’t protect them better!

First published on Waatea News.

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