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Communist assault on democracy continues with Labour set to abolish independent office of the Children’s Commissioner

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Parliament’s Social Services and Community Select Committee has pushed the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki Bill through to its next stage.

‘This will effectively dismantle and eradicate the role of the Children’s Commissioner’, says current Commissioner Judge Frances Eivers, adding ‘how can we trust our democratic process when people’s voices are ignored?’

‘A total of 403 people and organisations made submissions to the Committee – only eight were in support of the bill and 311 vehemently opposed it. Those on the front line, working tirelessly to keep children safe, have been vocal about their concerns, yet all these voices have simply been ignored.’

‘I cannot comprehend how the Select Committee progressed this Bill through largely unaltered. When such a clear, resonant message is sent to Government, the failure to listen to the people they vowed to represent speaks volumes.

‘This Bill will see the Children’s Commissioner stripped of their power to investigate, no longer handling complaints from children and their families, and no longer being an independent monitor who keeps a close eye on those who have power over our mokopuna, such as Oranga Tamariki.

‘I have been very clear – as have the majority of submitters on the Bill – that creating an ‘Independent’ Monitor within the Education Review Office by definition cannot be independent. They can say they work without fear or favour but ultimately this is a government agency monitoring another government agency and both answering to ministers. Children in care deserve to have a monitor that is independent of Government.

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‘How can the New Zealand public have any trust in a Government that makes sure that it is the only one marking its score card? The Royal Commission on Historical Abuse in State Care and in Faith-based Institutions has shone valuable light on what can happen when people have power over children without these safeguards.

‘The Children’s Commissioner is a vocal advocate for all our children, yet the proposed changes to supposedly improve the Oversight of the Oranga Tamariki System is looking at the role through only one lens. Undermining the Children’s Commissioner in order to control who has scrutiny over Oranga Tamariki robs the 1.2 million children of Aotearoa of a voice that will hold government to account for their actions – children who deserve better.

‘On the surface, news of the establishment of what will be a ‘Chief Children’s Commissioner’ and appears positive, but the rest of the changes outlined in the Bill undermine children’s safety, exposes the most vulnerable children in New Zealand – those in care or at risk of entering care – to danger from the lack of effective monitoring.

‘Let’s also be clear that the proposed ‘Chief Children’s Commissioner’ is not just a name change. Without the power to investigate any decision or recommendation made, or any act done or omitted in respect of any child risks creating a figurehead rather than an advocate with real teeth. The loss of the power to monitor or assess the policies and practices of Oranga Tamariki and their impact on children who deserve a champion who will maintain a close eye while transformational change is being made is the opposite of what survivors of state care have been telling us is badly needed.

‘The Chief Children’s Commissioner will ultimately become just a chair of the board – one of up to 6 Commissioners – not someone identified and brought aboard for their advocacy skills and willingness to speak truth to power. Commissioners have always been people with mana – Dr Russell Wills, Dame Cindy Kiro, Judge Andrew Becroft. That legacy will end under this new structure and those mokopuna who need it the most will be worse off.

‘A board simply adds a layer of bureaucracy and cost which is not needed for an office of 30 -40 employees. It is money better spent elsewhere. Why is the government seeking to fix something that is not broken?

‘We need to hit pause. This work should halt until the findings of the Royal Commission reports in June next year. To pre-empt that work would be to make a mockery of those who were brave enough to tell their stories. Did we really want to listen to their insights, because we are still designing new legislation without even waiting to hear them?

‘In the same vein there has been inadequate consultation – particularly with children and young people and Māori – before such significant decisions were made. How can that be, unless there wasn’t really an appetite to hear what they had to say?

‘The Government has the laudable vison to make NZ the best place to raise a child. Let these not just be worthy words – it is time to walk the talk and put our mokopuna, our children first and at the centre of the decision-making process.’

Speaking to Lloyd Burr of Today FM this morning, Youth Development Worker Aaron Hendry said that the move from an independent monitoring into a government agency meant the monitoring of Oranga Tamariki will not be independent, and this ‘weakens the monitoring and accountability of the government, which [creates] risks for our young people.

‘There’s a lot of mistrust and I’m just concerned with the way the Bill has been gone about,’ said Hendry.

In response, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni told Burr:

‘Changes were made through that process and I think they strongly reflect some of the concerns that have been raised’.

‘We are confident with the system that has been laid out in this bill.’

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  1. Why be concerned?
    Nearly 50 years ago the same treatment was given to children and it has not improved. Children in state homes were without underwear in winter and kept in solitary for 23 hours a day. My family were involved, disclosed it, and the Minister did not seek another term.
    All the supervision subsequently has been to no avail. Childrens’ conduct is not always the fault of the parents. Best care is invariably with the natural parents. No social worker can subsitute for them.
    I have documented all this in my book including the accusing telegram to the Minister. Free to download and copy at will as a PDF or EPub. https://www.obooko.com/free-memoir-biography-autobiography-books/my-first-80-years-kevin-obrien

  2. Yes, it’s bloody appalling behaviour from a government whose leader said on the night of her landslide win that they were a fully inclusive government ready to listen to the concerns of all people. We have no better example of the meaning of ‘two faced’ than we do here. Since then it has gone from bad to abominable.

    But we can be lifted by the fact that their time is short and tenure running out. Thank God for that…

  3. How many more ignored public submissions, crushed and prosecuted protestors, deplatformed whistleblowers and openly rigged elections is it gonna take before people start to realise democracy has been dead a while now

  4. The title should be “Woke assault ” and not “Communist assault”. Autocrcy and tyranna may have been practised in the communist regimes but they were not in the spirit of the theory. Wokes are the new tyrants who are after individual freedom and liberty. They are slimy and corrupt to the core and wanbts to exercise full control.

  5. The previous Commissioner Becroft made such a pigs breakfast of the position he removed all credibility from the position. The select committee is made up of nine people, eight are women, one indeterminate, five labour cult, one loopy green, three only are elected members the rest list. Control will be going to Oranga Tamariki(by maori for maori).
    I rest my case.

    • Yes. You have it exact. But it’s getting harder and harder for them to blame colonialism as they fig themselves deeper and deeper in the cess pit they are digging for themselves.

  6. The INDEPENDENT OFFICE OF THE CHILDREN’S COMMISSIONER has never done anything to help children in this country & in fact have created & supported the Govt policies which have been hurting children for many years now…

    So GOOD RIDDANCE I reckon… about time the PUBLIC became the watchdog for children in this country… the only way to keep them safe I reckon… particularly from our psychotic Govt & their attempts to own our children & destroy their integrity & happiness!

    • I am inclined to agree. More child poverty, more abuse more kids getting into trouble, just more vulnerable kids all round.

      Child traffickers will be rubbing their hands with glee.

      This is the worst govt ever and no one gives a toss about children unless they can indoctrinate them or co tell them. It’s sick.

  7. Go to Australian Sky News and see Andrew Bolt’s commentaries with regards to the crap being pulled behind the scenes via the NZ Government that no one here in NZ seems to know about, and especially the damage that Ardern has done and will continue to do!
    I’ll let the interviews speak for themselves, with each lasting around 8 minutes of video time, and the last few about NZ are very important to gain the insight as to what is happening to us all under ‘wokism’ via ‘gradualism’ and under the cloak and secrecy of ‘non-debate’!!!!
    They have to be removed NOW to avoid any further damage to the country.
    Luxon & the Nazional Party are NOT to be trusted either, & I would handle David Seymour with a loooooong stick, based on his past deflective behaviours re; ‘Firearms Confiscations’…!

  8. We don’t have a government, we have a tyrannical, narcissistic megalomaniac fed by a fawning media. What you think or want doesn’t come into it. Guy Fawkes was on to something.


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