The new Children's Commissioner objects to the name as "stigmatising and labelling".
Metiria Turei says it's "very negative, takes a deficit and exclusionary approach to supporting children and families. "
Labour want a Ministry for Children - no adjective.
Marama Fox of the Maori Party says, "If it was up to me I would be looking to set up a Ministry of Family or a Ministry of Whanau. We need to fix the whole of the problem."
Think-tank Maxim agrees with them all,
"The name falls squarely into the “deficit” model of thinking that fails to express a sense of aspiration for the children in care."
The new Ministry will be dealing with children who are vulnerable. It follows the passage of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. Its name is entirely befitting. And Anne Tolley is to be commended for sticking with it.
But there is ongoing resistance. The Children's Commissioner says he will only refer to the Ministry by its Maori name. Oranga Tamariki.
In support Maxim blogger Kieran Madden writes,
"Oranga Tamariki is the silver lining here; it is redemptive. Not only because this is more inclusive of Māori children—who count as 60% of the children in care—but also because it is aspirational. “Imagine the reaction to a door knock from a badged Vulnerable Children’s worker,” asked Becroft. Compare this with someone representing Orangi Tamariki.
This convinced me that the new name—while accurate—isn’t helpful. Tolley argued that a name “won’t save a single child,” but if it does open one door that might have remained closed, it might.
Becroft is urging all in the sector to only use Oranga Tamariki, hoping that the English version will “wither on the vine.” This is a good idea. A name is, as he notes “only the start,” but an important one. It is up to the Ministry, and those working with children and their communities to provide care that lives up to the better name.
Ka pai, Oranga Tamariki."
Anyway, I thought I should find a translation of the name that we are all being urged to use before I wrote this post.