Sunday, May 2, 2021

Andrew Dickens: Are Maori breaking the Treaty?

So the Waitangi Tribunal called on the Government to step back from intruding into Māori communities. The say the uplift and care of Māori children by Oranga Tamariki has breached the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Tribunal recommends that an independent Māori Transition Authority should be created to reform the agency’s care and protection system for tamariki Māori. Which is Maori children for those people who refuse to recognise Maori language.

But the Tribunal stopped short of recommending full devolution. That is a Maori Authority that deals with all Maori cases of child welfare run by Maori.

But that hasn't stopped many Maori groups raising a clamour demanding a full devolution and an army of opponents chanting the word “seperatism”

So here's where I wade in; and invariably I'll be told I know nothing as I'm a middle aged, middle class white male. And other people will casually throw around the word racist, but I don't care. This is free speech.

There is no way that the state can be divorced from the care of at risk Maori kids.

If the state pays for it, they get a say. The state is you and me through our taxes. The state is responsible for all New Zealanders, no matter their ethnic background.

Maori are not responsible for just Maori but all New Zealanders. If they take the state's money they take the state's oversight. That’s part of the partnership the Treaty tries to create.

When dealing with vulnerable children, the state provides an objective oversight of difficult situations. Oranga Tamariki should never be accused of offering fear of favour based on cultural ethnicity.

I don’t disagree with a Maori Transition Authority to create better environment for Maori within Oranga Tamariki but I don’t see the value of creating a separate entity. I’m surprised that Maori do. That entity would be under the most intense scrutiny and there is no guarantee that it would be any better than our current set up.

It’s not as though there isn’t significant Maori input already and there are a significant number of Maori uplifts by Maori social workers already. Maori want whanau based care of their endangered children. They don’t seem to see how other ethnicities find that ironic since it is whanau that is endangering the children in the first place

The Tribunal says Oranga Tamariki’s uplift of Maori children breaks the Treaty. You could also argue the Treaty obligations were broken by Maori before Oranga Tamariki was involved.

Maori believe the Treaty gives them Tino Rangatiratanga or authority over their taonga. That’s their treasured possessions, like their children.

When their taonga, their tamaraki, are no longer treasured by their whanau which means they need to uplifted, they have failed to exercise their authority, their Tino Rangatiratanga. In essence the abuse of Maori children by their parents breaks the Treaty in my book.

Andrew Dickens is a broadcaster with Newstalk ZB.


DeeM said...

The Waitangi tribunal is broken and needs to be dis-established. It has served its original purpose and its ongoing existence only encourages endless grievance claims which are accepted without question or evidence. It is a mouthpiece for extreme Maori activists who want to turn NZ into a separatist state. The NZ taxpayer has forked out over $3 billion dollars in settlement claims already and most Maori are no better off because iwi leaders have retained most of it. Even Willie Jackson criticised Maori over this yesterday.

So Maori want to be entirely responsible for Oranga Tamariki. OK - on the face of it that may seem like a reasonable suggestion. However, when Maori are the ones accountable for their own performance, just like all other government departments that hate criticism, there will be a strong tendency to massage the statistics and ensure the results look good. How do you decrease uplifts of tamariki? - leave them with their whanau who are abusing them. This will likely result in even worse outcomes for Maori kids.
In addition, our government have a vested interest in making Maori look good so that their 2040 separatist agenda can continue unchecked. I'm guessing that's why the Tribunal did not recommend full devolution. That way they have a get-out-of-jail-free card by blaming the government for their own failings.

Peter said...

If Maori want to take care of their own children, health etc that is fine. Use the money they got from Tribunal Settlements to fund these ventures. . Stop going back to the taxpayer for ever more money when we have already paid them what they asked for .