Oranga Tamariki blundered in Hawke’s Bay, true – but that’s no reason to disqualify it from dealing with family violence

Point of Order

 The strong whiff of “treaty” politicking has accompanied the intense scrutiny of Oranga Tamaraki in recent months, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s announcing an urgent inquiry into the child protection agency’s practices towards Māori children.

No-one, curiously, seems much bothered about the agency’s practices towards other children.

Oranga Tamariki staffers certainly invited closer scrutiny when they tried to take a baby from her mother in Hawke’s Bay in May, a bungled operation that was the subject of a Newsroom investigation.  This prompted howls of outrage, cries of institutional racism and the calling of national hui.

The tribunal’s Chief Judge Wilson Issac  said:

“I conclude there are sufficient grounds for an urgent inquiry into a specific contemporary issue concerning a risk of significant and irreversible prejudice to Māori arising from current Oranga Tamariki policy and practice.”

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