Friday, January 29, 2021

GUEST POST: Oranga Tamariki - Perceptions of Blame

I parted ways with my social work Master’s with the last re-write of CYF/OT legislation. Whanau placement children have demonstrably worse outcomes than general placement children because there is a problem with inter-generational dysfunction (what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly). So, if recent developments are REALLY about what is best for the children, and not a massive power trip the likes of Turia and Raukawa-Tait are embarking on, then it should be as Henare O'Keefe says, that " doesn't matter if foster parents are black, brown, white, purple or green, they need to have the love for children and a passion in their future".

No one alive today has been colonised or has colonised anyone. Every single person has a choice. Both Maori and Pakeha choose to become addicts, or abuse/neglect their kids. (Remember Maori campaigned to be allowed access to booze in 1947 - now there's some campaigning to prevent Maori access to booze, South Auckland Maori Warden David Ratu and a women in Hawkes Bay). But drug and alcohol addiction are still apparently Pakeha's fault.

I am told constantly that “Māori were never asked about Pākeha intervention, it was decided by Pākeha that they would intervene anyway." As if it’s ok with them that standards for Maori children should be lower than other children. No. All children deserve love, care and a decent standard of living (with no abuse) and if families aren’t providing that there needs to be intervention.

Maori have been part of government decisions for a very long time. To pretend decisions made by  CYF, and now OT, excluded them is disingenuous. It's similar to the claim that Pakeha unilaterally banned the speaking of Maori in early schools when a 1866/67 petition to parliament of 337 Maori elders asked that "... there should not be a word of Maori allowed to be spoken in the school."

I am also told child abuse didn’t exist before Pakeha arrival; that Maori children were stolen to be slaves, and this is where abuse was learnt. Such a one-eyed view. Shall we discuss the Chatham Island Moriori and inter-tribal slavery and brutality? No, because that is in the past and as far as I am concerned has no bearing on how anyone chooses to raise their family today. 

In any case, if this claim is the reason why Maori are so high in OT's stats, how come most Maori can and do look after their kids beautifully?

Guest Post by 'The Slippery Slope'

1 comment:

gravedodger said...

Great summary to publish Lindsay, one conflict for me comes with the racist connotations involved in classifying me and my culture as Pakeha, I am a New Zealander of European (United Kingdom, Scottish Celtic actually even to suffering dupuytren's as evidence). If there is no English word or phrase to encompass that then just use "White" (well maybe a little freckled if greater accuracy is required) or at very least 'Non Maori' if deemed necessary.
Of course if the language being employed is Maori then Pakeha will be in use but in English I am seriously offended being classed Pakeha.