Friday, October 1, 2021

Lindsay Mitchell: OT report starts with half-truths

The Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board report released this week paints a picture of pre-colonisation nirvana. There's a heavy emphasis on Maori because Maori children dominate among OT's caseload, and the Board members are all Maori.

It begins with a section called, TE AU O TE KANOHI MĀORI, which translates as 'The Maori Eye'.

It states  "...the reality for tamariki Māori " was they "were nurtured and treasured as the centre, the pito, the magnetic pole of Māori society in pre-colonial times."

"We recognise that of course Māori are not unique in treasuring their tamariki as the strength and centre of their culture and their economy, and of the wealth and health of all their futures. This is a common scenario across humanity and particularly in pre-industrialised economies where the health of the collective was what mattered. It is our view that the processes of colonisation, bringing urbanisation and commodification of people as units of production has broken that down. Inevitably transported to Aotearoa New Zealand with settlers from industrialising Europe, a view of organising family as individual units with tamariki as a subset - and in some Victorian eyes to be seen and not heard - has been imposed."

People were also "units of production" pre-industrialisation. They did back-breaking work in fields and their survival depended on the climate's co-operation. A pining for our agrarian past isn't prevalent among the general population.

Individual family units were not imposed on Maori. For decades Maori remained predominantly rurally-based and lived on and around maraes. But as they moved to the towns and cities for better paying jobs (turning their backs on working as agricultural units of production) they began to arrange themselves similarly to Europeans, just as they had adopted European dress and housing.

The report goes on to complain about the misrepresentation of warrior culture which apparently actually existed for the protection of children.

"An example has been the portrayal of this role as the warmongering, aggressive leader of the community. While the depiction may have become self-fulfilling for some, the primary role of a warrior was to provide for the community and to keep it safe from harm."

Safe from what harm? Other warriors seeking to violently plunder and pillage for starters.

So here we have yet another report which starts from fallacy. Let's be generous. Half-truths.

How Maori lived before colonisation was much better. Children were safer being raised by the collective. Therefore a return to that way of organising Maori society is the solution.

"While the context of the 21st century is different from that of pre-colonisation, views shared with us from hapū, iwi and Māori organisations indicate that these responsibilities and structures must be rebuilt so that the whānau can once again be self-determining."

The Minister Kelvin Davis has accepted every recommendation summarised as:

-Decision making and resources to be shifted to communities, with children and whānau at the centre of the system

-A new operating model, with better support and training for social workers

-Without notice orders (uplifts) to be only used after proper engagement with whānau

I find it ironic that one Maori Minister wants to centralise control for the benefit of Maori (Three Waters) while another seeks to decentralise control for the benefit of Maori (Oranga Tamariki).

Lindsay Mitchell is a welfare commentator who blogs HERE.


Terry Morrissey said...

Control by any means being the main object.

Ray S said...

Let them return to their supposed utopian ways. And operate the same way. Wont work, no money involved there, move on.
The need to step back in time, 100 plus years never ceases to amaze.
I have said it before that colonist started the advancement of the country which has lead us to where we are today.
If Maori want to go back to the "old" ways, let them, without funding.
Can't have it both ways.

Terry Morrissey said...

It seems that Sir Wira Gardiner has resigned. Given a nudge for his bully boy tatics I hope. Should lose his knighthood and maybe a couple of other bits. May he be closely followed by his responsible minister Davis,a couple of Family Court judges and the responsible minister for the responsible minister, the Prime Minister.

Alexandra Corbett Dekanova said...

The house built on sand will fall, the plan built on false assumptions about past will not work.
To pretend that Maoris have special solutions for universal problems like family violence, environment, justice, resource management and to accept it as the ground for government policies is an astonishing nonsense.
In this case the victims will be the children.

DeeM said...

Colonialism has a lot to answer for.
Massively increased life expectancy - much better housing - much higher standard of living - land and property rights etc, etc. What were all those Maori chiefs thinking when they signed Te Tiriti. Surely if things were so wonderful they would have ripped the Treaty up there and then.
Maybe we should poll the 16.7% of Maori and ask them if they want to return to their "idyllic" past - no running water, no electricity, no shops, no cars, nothing metal. But on the plus side, all living together in an uninsulated, draughty marae surrounded by a big wooden fence and always on the lookout for the neighbouring iwi who were likely to attack and take everything, including the survivors back as slaves.

I suspect the vote in favour would be less than what the Maori Party scrapes at each election. And none of the authors of the OT report would be voting YES! What, and give up their high-paying, public salary job, their flash, inner-city apartment with the trendy cafe on the corner and the gym across the road - not likely!

The OT report is a classic example of what you get when a bunch of woke academics and social engineering "experts" get together and concoct a race-based case for taking charge. We all know what this will lead to - worse outcomes for ALL kids under OT care. You don't have to be an expert to figure that out.

Kiwialan said...

Back to a stone age culture, no wheel, no written language, slavery, cannibalism. Kaiapoi and Onawe pa sites destroyed and 2,000 plus slaughtered by marauding Northern tribes..... Back to the good old days. Yeah... Na.

Margaret Carswell said...

Where are the Maori leaders and what are they doing or planning to do for their people who colonisation has made so helpless? The Maori caucus is not the leader.
What use have the treaty settlement funds been put to so far? I believe they are in iwi corporates. Have they been invested in the development of every single person in the Iwi? Perhaps large urban marae for communal living would be a good thing? There could be kura in the village and housing for the gangs as the Maori are claiming to have solutions and want to solve their problems. Give bi-cultural people the choice of the Maori way or the NZ way.
An investment in education is the most pressing need. One AO/NZ with lifestyle choices is what I would like to see. And some real leadership for Maori at a national level instead of the bleating which goes on and on from the regional sidelines. This true leadership will never come from politicians.

Robert Arthur said...

Early Europeans have recorded that the behaviour of maori children was very indulged. But which naked child belonged to who would be uncertain and any common maori or slave castigating a chief's offspring would find their skull target for the chiefs mere.The practice of infanticide is also well documented.
It is remarkable that the very contentious parts of Reports do not receive scrutiny in the msm. Whether directly applicable or not that PIJFund is certainly working for maori and for the government move to maori control.

Geoffrey said...

I understand that in pre-European times male children were valued and protected as potential warriors. Girl children were not, even to the point of casting them aside at birth. Any shortage of breeding stock was potentially resolved by a raid on ones neighbours.

Maori have been afforded vast sums of money to resolve past issues and to provide for those social needs that although sufficient for non-Maori, do not meet the needs of modern Maori. Health, Education, Justice etc etc. it is clear that those funds have not been used to improve the lot of those in apparent need. So what happened? I suggest that there are some very comfortable chaps “looking after the funds for future generations”. I further suggest that time is now. Now is the time to invest in the current generation, their industry will create the wealth to provide for the future. Investing even more of the states diminishing wealth will not solve the log jam of funding without the tribal custom of the chosen few at the top getting first dibs is eradicate

Lesley Stephenson said...

I've never known Maori to worry about truths. Surely that is a colonial thing.