Urgent call for Oranga Tamariki accountability
May 10, 2019
Urgent call for Oranga Tamariki accountability #thelegallystolen
Organisers of a day-long Mother’s Day hui bringing together parents and families who have had children from their care say the “overwhelming” response shows urgent Government intervention is needed to prevent a range of looming tragedies.
The meeting at the Te Kokiri Centre, 86 Riria Kereopa Memorial Drive, Whaingaroa/Raglan on Sunday has been just three weeks in the making but organiser Lou Hutchinson says it is clear there are major issues throughout the country, and there is a need for further hui elsewhere.
“The depression and despair and stories behind it are horrendous,” she said. “We do genuinely fear for people if some mana and hope is not restored very quickly.”
Ms Hutchinson said there had been increased interest since this week’s attempts by Oranga Tamariki to remove a newborn child from its mother in Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
From Hawke’s Bay but living at Raglan, she said: “A common thread is the lack of accountability within Oranga Tamariki, where staff can say whatever they feel suits the circumstances without fear of consequences if they got it wrong.”
“This manifests itself in institutionalised racism, and bullying within Oranga Tamariki, and before it CYF (Child Youth Family),” she said. “Imagine that, an organisation that is set-up as the anti-bullying police is itself a bully.”
She said that while detail on the Hawke’s Bay case are not clear it is clear Oranga Tamariki has been set-up to remove more children from families, and is making decisions on poor information and without a fully-accountable process which would make them do the job properly.