Thursday, October 13, 2016


The #HandsOffOurTamariki kōrero last night was both distressing and amazing. So much was said and it’s hard to summarise. But if I had to, what I took away was this:

Children are being removed from their whānau and dying in alarming numbers. Both Māori and Pākehā children have been killed in unsafe environments, but we only hear of the Māori cases. Māori are then blamed for these deaths and the bad decisions of CYF. This blame has allowed Anne Tolley and the state to ignore the local and international reports about how bad CYF are doing, and how they need to work closer with iwi/hapū. It’s allowed them to create a new Ministry, and strip out the clause for children to remain with iwi/hapū. The end goal is to privatise child care (like what is happening in the UK). This will lead to a ‘care pipeline’ where multi-nationals like Serco profit from the removal and incarceration of Māori.

The ultimate cause of this is colonisation, which attacks Māori so that capitalism can make a profit from the harm that stems from colonisation. It’s a vicious cycle of dispossession and exploitation, and one that is ongoing today. Until Māori are truly in control of their lands, lives and power, it is ridiculous to talk of a post-colonial society. If this is the context, then the struggle for the care of tamariki needs to be a struggle about sovereignty as affirmed in te Tiriti o Waitangi, and as it existed on the ground in this land before 1840.

Further reading is available on the Facebook page, but this article by Kim McBreen is an excellent overview:

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