Thursday, June 13, 2024

Lindsay Mitchell: Oranga Tamariki behind the scenes

Another baby known to Oranga Tamariki has died. It is bad enough that a life is lost when it has barely begun. But it is worse when there were opportunities to intervene not taken.

Oranga Tamariki is very preoccupied with process. Perhaps dangerously preoccupied.

They are currently immersed in changing their Practice Approach which involves moving from viewing practice through a western lens to a Māori lens. According to Oranga Tamariki the purpose of the new Practice Approach is to move from "Privileging tauiwi beliefs, values and knowledge (ongoing colonialisation)" to "Preferencing Te Ao Māori beliefs, values and knowledge."

Social workers also describe the approach as shifting from "a risk-focused approach to a more holistic, whānau centred one."

In plain English, babies are not removed; families are worked with. This may be a successful approach in some cases. In others, it might fail. The risk to the dead 10-month-old was not assessed well enough to save his life.

Oranga Tamariki workers are being schooled in the new Practice Approach with a variety of "tools, models and resources" depicted in the following diagram:

(Left click on image to enlarge)

All of this new ‘knowledge’ must be propagated and absorbed against a background of a severely overworked workforce. There aren’t enough social workers and the need for them is escalating. Only two days ago a “leading family violence crisis agency” told the NZ Herald that the violence being reported to them was at an “all-time high.” Police statistics for assaults on children bear this out. Serious assaults on under 15 year-olds which resulted in injury increased by 46 percent in the five years to 2023.

Meanwhile Oranga Tamariki have been evaluating their new Practice Approach. While around two thirds of staff were positive there was also resistance including, “Worry that the changes could compromise their management of risk and safety for tamariki and rangatahi.”

Moreover, 59 percent did not respond to the Practice Approach Survey and the following insight indicates a degree of pressure to conform might be operating:

At one site supervisors and practice leads have implemented several practices to support the Practice Approach. For example, they have implemented karakia, waiata, kiwaha, and ko wai au in the morning meetings. They now go around the room and ask social workers what they have done in their work that week to reflect Ngakau whakairo and give examples.

Surely qualified social workers are itching to be out working at the coalface – not sitting around talking about it?

As well as risks to children there are workforce risks - present and future - to consider.

For instance, individuals wanting to work in the field of child protection will be dissuaded by this nebulous, navel-gazing, mumbo-jumbo called Practice Approach. Being best buddies with the whanau may appeal to some character types – and may even achieve the best results with some families – but ultimately, Oranga Tamariki is there to protect the safety, the very lives, of children and young people.

Doubtless many who are employed by the organisation understand and respect that function, but the ideology “framed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi” being gradually imposed upon them will probably undermine their ability and desire to continue.

Yes, the formalised Practice Approach has only been operating since 2022 but the “by Māori, for Māori” ethos has been around for many years now.

How long should it be given to prove it does or doesn’t protect children from abuse or worse? And will we count the answer in time or lives?

Lindsay Mitchell is a welfare commentator who blogs HERE. - where this article was sourced.


mudbayripper said...

I guess this insane process is truly the pathway back to a decolonized state.
A society that featured barbaric practices with infanticide being one of them, along with slavery, murder, zero property rights, a hierarchy determined by right of birth and utu or tikanga take your pick, or do these terms mean the same.
How is it possible that in a modern advanced democracy any sane person can take any aspect of things Māori seriously.
FFS I feel like I'm drowning in sea of completely crazy lunatics.
New Zealand needs desperately to perge itself from all things Māori.

Anonymous said...

This practice approach is utter horsesh*t & well outside the scope of child, youth & family’s job description. A name change doesn’t change sh*t.

Their ONLY job is to ensure a child is safe in their family home & if they’re not, to place them with a safe & suitable foster family.


Anything else is virtue signalling at the expense of the children they’re meant to be safe-guarding. Children are literally being neglected, malnourished, beaten, tortured & murdered while they sit around making up cultural graphs for made up words by tribal elite.

Not one bit of Maori tokenism has saved one child. These a**holes literally have blood on their hands. THAT is horrific truth.

The Labour Party & all the Wellington bureaucrats who supported & still support this utter nonsense should be charged with criminal nuisance at best, crimes against humanity at worst.

They have been deliberately & systematically derelict in their duty of care of our most vulnerable New Zealanders. They are despicable.

Anonymous said...

So Oranga Tamariki is there exclusively for Maori children is it? What a load of twaddle, and racist to go with it.

AprilGuy said...

My gawd, they are worse than I thought. Aiming for total Maorification at the expense of childrens' safety. Once glance at that Practise Approach diagram should warn any normal person not to work there. It looks like a totally woke, Maorified, toxic organisation. Best to tear it down and start afresh

anonTeslaOwner said...

Thanks Lindsay for this update. What a ridiculous process-centric approach they have adopted.

The reality of much of their target customers is that they aren't capable of changing and will only respond to immediate interventions. Instead of following woke dogma manifest in rituals like karakia (what happened to NZ being a secular country btw), perhaps they should focus on outcomes?

Like say kids not dying/being killed.

boudicca said...

Appears to include Pasifika values as well, but nothing to do with the colonisers

Anonymous said...

As another commenter has said it will be very hard to attract people to work as social workers with this in place. Many roles in Government depts already scare off qualified candidates by advertising the roles requires knowledge of all sorts of Maori mumbo-jumbo that is really irrelevant to doing the job.

And what of the non-maori children and families that Oranga Tamariki gets involved with? Will they be alienated and confused by the process? Will they be treated differently if they don't understand or want to engage with this process which is frankly, spiritual stuff disguised as cultural? If Oranga Tamariki are operating on a basis that life forces etc exist then are they not now just a religious organisation?

Anonymous said...

Close this out of control APARTHEID outfit down now.

Kay O'Lacey said...

Such deprivation existing within a maori underclass deliberately-cultivated over the past 50 years is the life-blood of the so-called maori 'elite' and drives billions of dollars of taxpayer funding their way. For as long as such a farce perpetuates things will never improve. That the weight of such cases involving so-called maori is so overwhelming, makes clear to me that individuals with only a fraction of such ancestry would in fact be better following safer cultural values. Previous generations of maori well understood this which seems likely to behind the fact that the maori race was, by any realistic genetic measure, vanished by interbreeding decades ago.

Anonymous said...

Here are some statistics for you to chew on from Child Matters website.
One child is murdered in NZ every 5 weeks.
While people rabbit on about Free Gaza. A horror story continues in NZ.
Recorded violence offences against children under 15 as at 2020.
887 Common Assault
3,077 serious assault without injury
1,846 serious assault causing injury
1,488 cases of aggravated sexual assault
Oranga Tamariki Care & Protection Stats
78,900 reports of concern
41,300 assault investigations
8,200 Family Group Conferences (yawn) (have a scratch)
Every 8th homicide victim from 2004-2019 was a child.
More than 2.3 of these victims were under 2 years!!
Of the cases where the killer's relationship to the child was known, 27% mothers, 24% fathers, 17% de facto (like lions on the savanna who kill the offspring of another male)
NZ had the highest rate of teen suicide OECD in 2017, 6th highest "teen pregnancy", and 7th highest child homicide.
I could go on...but WHAT A DISGRACE! in a country where we have everything, and I mean everything, including protection under law.
If you know something YOU ARE INVOLVED, so families need to speak up and save these little darlings from torturous deaths. Perpetrators get "counselling"in a cushy prison with underfloor heating... They should meet the same fate as their victims.