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Marama Fox vs Bill English – who will blink?

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 16th, 2017 - 167 comments
Categories: bill english, child welfare, maori party, national - Tags: , ,

Marama Fox and Bill English have painted themselves into a bit of a corner – Marama Fox threatening to walk away from the government if vulnerable children legislation doesn’t change

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox is threatening to walk away from the Government over new legislation that doesn’t ensure Maori children are placed with whanau when the state removes them from their home.

Prime Minister Bill English isn’t budging on the wording in legislation to overhaul Child, Youth and Family (CYF), which would remove the priority to place a child with a member of their family or wider hapu if possible or someone with the same cultural background.

Fox said she’d “fight for this every day of the week”.

When asked how big the issue was, she said, it was personally more important to her than the Kermadecs, which the Maori Party have previously said would force the party to abandon their agreement with National if the sanctuary went ahead.

“I’d walk away from the government over Maori children long before the Kermadecs any day of the week,” Fox said.

Key would have handled this better. Fox is right on the issues. But now we have a confrontation, Marama Fox vs Bill English – who is going to blink first?

167 comments on “Marama Fox vs Bill English – who will blink? ”

  1. Andre 1

    The situation doesn’t actually require anybody to blink. The Nats plus the hair and the hologram still add up to a majority. The Maori Party and English may both think it’s in their electoral interest to be seen to be standing up to the other, to the point of walking away.

    • imo it is not an ‘electoral interest’ issue for The Māori Party as you’ve framed it – it is an issue of colonisation and culture. Plus the evidence is conclusive about taking people away, deliberately, from their culture for NO good reason – it leads to no good place.

      So I’m saying that imo the attempted distancing of The Māori Party from the gnats to get ready to win more votes by appearing neutralish to voters is a result of the stand not the reason for it.

      I agree that for english and his personal bigotry, plus the gnat supporters it is an issue of pandering to those who, well, just don’t like Māori really.

      • adam 1.1.1

        +1 marty mars

        • North 1.1.1.1

          Plus many many many Marty ! I’d like to think that this is something really, really deep with Marama Fox. Transcending shit old politics.

          We know the failure of ‘putting’ kids where ‘we’ think is best. It’s arrogantly dismissive about rich dynamics ‘we’ have no heart for. Those styles are actually casual racist shit. Sadly very many ‘good’ folk will clap. Groundhog @ 1.1.2 below is an example of that.

      • Groundhog 1.1.2

        I invite you to read the proposed legislation. No-one is advocating removing people from their culture. But the present law has resulted in children being placed at risk simply because of a misguided view that close family ties are more important than a child’s safety. The proposed law simply gives social agencies wider scope in placement decisions. We should be celebrating that.

        • marty mars 1.1.2.1

          I understand this legislation better than you think I do.

          Search for hands off our tamariki if you wish to know why this is opposed

          • Groundhog 1.1.2.1.1

            No-one is trying to ‘take’ your tamariki. The issue is that some tamariki end up in abusive families by fiat of the state because of a law that leaves no option.

            • marty mars 1.1.2.1.1.1

              If you aren’t trying to keep children within their culture as a first desireable option then you are taking them as far as some members of that culture determine. All caregivers receive vetting and checking regardless of culture. Your line of argument doesn’t make sense.

              • pcg0nemad

                The proposed changes will continue to put children in culturally appropriate care but only where it is safe for the child to do so. The present law, as Groundhog points out, puts an emphasis on culturally appropriate care, even when it is not safe for the child. That is perverse and is a situation which contributes to our appalling child-abuse statistics.

                You have interesting priorities if you think culturally appropriate care should be more important than child safety. Good on National for having the guts to put children’s safety first.

                • pcg – Does the existing law “put children in culturally appropriate care” where it’s known to be not safe for the child?
                  If so, the law needs to be changed. If not, why do you think it needs to be changed?

                  • Groundhog

                    “Does the existing law “put children in culturally appropriate care” where it’s known to be not safe for the child?”
                    The existing law makes that a possibility, yes.

                    • There’s always that possibility, Groundhog, as I’m sure you know. You are claiming that the proposed law will prevent that from happening. What makes you say that? How will the proposed law get around the inevitable “possibility” that a child may end up in an unsafe care situation?

                • Every caregiver gets assessed now so your argument falls there.

                  • Groundhog

                    No it doesn’t. Children get abused in whanau care. Children are placed in danger because ‘best case whanau’ are given priority over ‘better case’ wider community care. The system is broken, the agency is broken, the law is broken.

                    • Nah you are up the wrong garden path and frankly all over the place argument wise. Maybe check out that search I recommended earlier so you can get up to speed with the REAL issues not the made up ones.

                    • Groundhog

                      “Maybe check out that search I recommended earlier so you can get up to speed with the REAL issues not the made up ones.”

                      I did. You aren’t getting to grips with my point, so it will be hard for you to remain relevant.

                    • Except you didn’t have a point. All the Māori Party (and other opposition parties that have gotten over their settler attitudes a bit) are asking on this issue is that the requirement stay in the legislation, not that it be given primacy over any of the other requirements. (that is a silly Nat strawman)

                      In fact, it’s totally appropriate that the legislation prioritise safety from any sort of abuse over access to wider family ties and/or same-culture care when the two are mutually exclusive, and it’s entirely possible that writing that into the legislation would be a legitimate compromise, or even the MP’s preferred course of action. But cultural matches and access to capable extended family should be something that they’re legally required to consider, as compliance with your relevant legislation is normally A Big Deal in government, this would help ensure that cultural alienation for Māori doesn’t get any worse than it already has.

                      I don’t think anyone disagrees that the system is broken and greater emphasis needs to be put on improving outcomes for kids. But as an outright majority of kids in this system are Māori, and isolation from their culture is shown to cause negative outcomes, it’s only natural that Māori as the key stakeholders in this legislation want steps to place kids with their relatives where possible enshrined in the law so that if necessary they can take the new agency to court if it doesn’t do its job right.

                      The disconnect is you’re talking about negative rights to safety, ie. being free of abuse. The MP want a positive right to well-being, ie. being free from abuse AND having positive care indicators like being able to provide connection with their wider family, culture, and community. All the recent research in this area points to a well-being and strengths-based approach to social services like those that Oranga Tamariki will be providing. Besides, if you fall short of well-being and just get safety, well ok, probably still an improvement in most cases, but if you fall short of safety and end up with abuse like is currently happening… well, then you’re essentially just spending government money to shuffle kids around for no actual improvement.

                      I’d be very curious to see any evidence that considering culture in matching kids to carers is actually causing any problems, as presumably Māori carers go through the same vetting as everyone else, and preventing this sort of thing is considered a minimum reasonable requirement of placement.

                      This is potentially a very serious policy issue, and if it’s simply left up to departmental discretion to do this sort of thing, Māori have no real recourse if it doesn’t happen.

                    • Groundhog

                      “…not that it be given primacy over any of the other requirements.”
                      You clearly don’t understand the way the system works. The system is heavily slanted towards a politically correct view of interpreting the law. Social workers are indoctrinated about the (debatable) effects of colonisation, instead of focusing on the needs of individual children and whanau. The current legislation is used against the best interests of some children, simply to pacify some of these warped views.

                      “I’d be very curious to see any evidence that considering culture in matching kids to carers is actually causing any problems, as presumably Māori carers go through the same vetting as everyone else,…”

                      The current legislation is at times interpreted in a way that means they are not.

                    • None of what you said there is true groundhog – it is your distorted and warped personal intrepretation.

                    • Groundhog

                      “None of what you said there is true groundhog”

                      I wish that were the case, but sadly it is not.

                • Groundhog

                  Indeed.

              • Groundhog

                Keeping children as part of their culture may be admirable, but not if it condemns them to further abuse. My line of argument makes absolute sense.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Marty’s right. NZ officially endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010.

                  I’ll leave you to deny the implications of that.

                  • Groundhog

                    Do indigenous rights include being moved from one abusive family into another, simply because of skin colour?

                    • skin colour??? what has that to do with anything – oh that’s right – code for bigotry eh groundhog – you are dim and uninformed and pushing a bigoted agenda – are you another onelav4all numbnut?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m picking he’s Munterinthemiddle with a new handle.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke’s “munter radar” is finely calibrated and working a treat.

                    • Groundhog

                      “skin colour??? what has that to do with anything ”

                      So you’re not following the conversation?

                    • guess what dimmy – skin colour is not an indicator of ethnicity except for racists

                    • Groundhog

                      “skin colour is not an indicator of ethnicity except for racists”

                      Read the comment I was responding to. And then educate yourself.

                    • I have read it and it doesn’t make sense – are you a bigot ie do you base your ideas about people on their skin pigmentation? I hope not even though thats what you sound like and if you are jeepers it must be hell in summer with all those tans around.

                    • Groundhog

                      “do you base your ideas about people on their skin pigmentation?”

                      No, and if you took the discussion even remotely seriously you wouldn’t need to ask that question.

                    • Well what does ‘simply because of skin colour’ mean? You said it didn’t you and since then you’ve bullshitted around trying to back off. Be brave at least we both know where you are coming from why not admit it – don’t be a weasel.

                    • Groundhog

                      “Well what does ‘simply because of skin colour’ mean?”

                      Are you serious? Look, read the posts and get off your ignorant band wagon.

                • Are you saying ground that the checks are inadequate? Could be worth assessing that – is it your gut feel or do you have some facts.

                  • Groundhog

                    “Children being returned from care placements back into the care of their biological parents in their dysfunctional homes in 2010 were 23 times more likely to be abused than children who remained with unrelated carers. Children being returned to family or whanau placements were 10 times more likely to be abused.”

                    http://www.nzcpr.com/report-lifts-covers-on-child-abuse/

                    • oh dear, muriel newman? she has zero cred because she has an agenda that is anti tangata whenua in so many ways

                      you also have zero cred groundhog and I do mean ZERO

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Muriel Newman citing Paula Rebstock 😆

                    • Groundhog

                      “oh dear, muriel newman? ”

                      It’s not Muriel Newman. It is the the report of the Expert Panel on Modernising CYF. But I guess you won;t let the facts get in the way of a good dose of ignorance eh?

                    • greywarshark

                      Marty mars and Groundhog
                      It is interesting when looking at a report with a critical eye and some knowledge of what is going on, the result can be a definite opinion that differs greatly from that of others.

                      The report cited by Muriel Newman gives a different picture than Groundhog gets and gives in this thread. The extract presents the problems clearly. The children have been with up to 8 foster parents who obvously have had insufficient help from early years to cope with a troubled child. As it says this has long term impacts.

                      The report identifies that the ‘average’ vulnerable child, who is between seven and eight years old, has had seven to eight different placements. For children who crave stability and love, such disruption in their lives has long term impacts.

                      Then Very few of the contracted services provided to vulnerable children and their families were being monitored or evaluated sufficiently to determine whether they work.
                      Obviously CYF had shown so little interest and support to either the caregivers or the child in most cases that they had no idea whether they were better than the original circumstances, and weren’t interested in anything more than appearing to give a damn.


                      The data shows that by age 21, of the children born in 1992 who were raised in state care:

                      • Almost 90 per cent were on a benefit
                      • More than 25 per cent were on a benefit with a child
                      • Almost 80 per cent did not have NCEA Level 2
                      • More than 30 per cent had a youth justice referral by the age
                      of 18
                      • Almost 20 per cent had had a custodial sentence
                      • Almost 40 per cent had a community sentence

                      The Panel found that CYF is suffering from deep and systemic failure. Very few of the contracted services provided to vulnerable children and their families were being monitored or evaluated sufficiently to determine whether they work. The agency itself was unable to demonstrate that it is making a sufficiently positive difference in the lives of the children and young people it serves.

                    • Groundhog

                      “The report cited by Muriel Newman gives a different picture than Groundhog gets and gives in this thread.

                      No. The report cites the incidence of secondary abuse amongst children placed with whanau. Spin it how you like, it’s damning.

                      The rest of your post is just excusing the inexcusable.

        • michelle 1.1.2.2

          Groundhog to me you are showing you know very little about the significance of culture we only have to look to our Aussie mates to see the long term damage done to the aboriginals wake up matey your still living in the old racist colonial days

          • Groundhog 1.1.2.2.1

            I have a considerable appreciation of the value of culture. But I do not deny reality. The data on Maori offending, and on the damage done to children by the current law, is incontrovertible.

        • michelle 1.1.2.3

          Are we going to go backwards in this country and be like Australia and there lost generations of kids because if so we will pay for it dearly. Culture is important I studied all the NZ schools exams results including the NCEA results last year and saw the Maori total immersion schools right up the top with the private schools where the mostly very rich white kids go to . Also the Maori schools in the Bay of Plenty have big waiting lists. Wake up NZers culture is important and always will be.

  2. tc 2

    Fox is all about the show, she likes to garner attention with these tough positions and media mileage with the rhetoric.

    IMO this is a calculated move to display some care and principles from a party that’s had few and supported this govt in its destruction of NZ social fabric.

    I regard the national/act/Maori coalition as a political pantomime, a show for the voters with this another scene being acted out.

    • Keith 2.1

      Very true. A few months out from the election, and with the loss of Willie Jackson, these Quislings that are the Maori Party know its all over. Its the dance of death by the truly irrelevant and used.

  3. David C 3

    With Winston coming down solidly on the side of English it is very unlikely English will even acknowledge Fox’s racist anti child rant.

    • DoublePlusGood 3.1

      Challenge: explain how Fox is being racist and anti-child in a manner that doesn’t make your comment racist or anti-child.

      • pcg0nemad 3.1.1

        I will have a go. Ms. Fox is putting cultural considerations and the feelings of agrieved Maori over the actual safety of children. National and NZ First are simply saying children safety is more important than cultural sensitivity. It’s good to see they have the courage to do so.

        • David C 3.1.1.1

          pcg0nemad.
          Yip pretty close.
          Status quo is that Maori kill a massively disproportionate amount of their own kids, killed mainly by family .
          Ms Fox wants to continue that.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.2

          “National and NZ First are simply saying children safety is more important than cultural sensitivity.”

          To some people, “simply saying” is an excuse for not addressing the nuances of an issue. Polarising the issue, pushing other important factors aside to keep it “simple” is how people like pcg and David C operate. It’s a simple matter, they intone, but they are wrong, wrong in their approach, wrong in their world view and wrong in their conclusions.

  4. I have to say that there is a tonne of information around this issue (which hasn’t been linked to or even alluded to) and to frame it as a fight between the gnats and The Māori Party or between english and fox is disingenuous – it will not foster good debate – and is just lets everyone down imo.

    I find it disheartening and stupid – really just clickbait for anti-Māori or anti-Māori Party.

    • Natwatch 4.1

      Sorry marty. Certainly intended to frame it as a fight between government partners, which is politically significant. But not intended as an attack on Māori. Thought it was obvious that Fox was right on the issue but yes, the post should have said that. Made a minor update.

    • Leftie 4.2

      As mentioned before, being “anti Maori party,” because they have propped up what must be the worst National government in history over the last 9 years, does not equate to people being “anti Maori.” And given that the Maori Party is down to just 1 seat, it sure looks like that they do not have the support of most Maori either.

      • adam 4.2.1

        The problem is that most Pākehā in this country do reaction politics really well against Māori. They don’t even try to understand Māori politics, then are quick to judge and condemn without looking at the big picture. Or taking into account what Māori want to achieve.

        Māori know the dominate group are going to condemn them no matter what way they go, so they try to get what is best for them. Guess what, in a liberal democracy that means working with the Tory scum sometimes.

        What pisses me off the most, people here bang on about wanting a change of government, then put blinkers on to Māori aspirations or worse. They purpose that the only way forward is for Māori is to be within the labour party, the last government to steal a huge amount of land from them.

        If you want a change of government, then realize in MMP, that means working with Māori, not some version of a marxist-leninist nightmare of party purity, discipline and dictatorial self righteousness.

        • Leftie 4.2.1.1

          For a start, the Maori party does not represent all Maori and cannot be seen as being an independent voice for Maori either, after almost 9 years of propping up the National government.

          If you want to change the government, then why support a party that supports National?

          • adam 4.2.1.1.1

            Not what I said, and you know it.

            I said the Māori politics, not the Māori Party. Just a little hint.

          • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1.2

            The Māori Party is finished, imo, because it is being perceived as the party for wealthy, elite Māori and there aren’t enough of them to vote the party back in in the numbers needed. Marama Fox’s view on this issue can be seen as one of Māori, rather than The Māori Party, in that she’s expressing a pan-Māori view about whanau, aroha, and other core beliefs. Not all Māori hold or practise those beliefs, but I would propose that most do, at some level.

  5. Ethica 5

    I don’t understand their opposition to the Kermadec sanctuary. The sea around there is being plundered by big corporate fishing and not benefitting many local Maori. A sanctuary would also help save the ocean ecosystem.

    • Leftie 5.1

      Agreed, Ethica.

    • Their objection, quite rightly, is to being ignored when the decision was made by the National Government. Treaty partners expect to be treated as partners over issues they have in common. Simple really. You’d think.

      • Leftie 5.2.1

        “Treaty partners expect to be treated as partners over issues they have in common.”

        That’s true.

    • Barfly 5.3

      There is virtually no commercial fishing around the Kermadec’s at this point – they fill their quotas in areas closer to port lowering fuel and labour costs. The Maori Party insisted on backing Sealord’s desire to be able to fish if it was commercially desirable in the future.

      • Ethica 5.3.1

        Have you seen Michael Field’s charts of corporate fishing in the Pacific compiled from satellite tracking? It is complete plundering and is happening everywhere including near the Kermadecs.

    • KJT 5.4

      If Māori had been consulted initially, the end result, may well have been a sanctuary.
      It is a matter of respecting and consulting Tangata Whenua. Acknowledgement, if you like.
      Just like treaty settlements are an acknowledgement and apology. Not reparations, which would be impossibly huge.

      Our Governments have no respect for the wishes of most Māori, most Pakeha. And any others affected. Asset sales and sneaking in prospecting in forest parks, for example, Consulting with Māori i does seem like special treatment, in the absence of any reasonable consultation with anyone but wealthy business.

      The answer is more Democracy, and less Government by Dictatorial fiat.

      The strange thing is the Māori moneyocracy party suddenly developing a spine, after supporting National in so many things that disadvantage Māori

      • That’s comprehensively and accurately put, KJT.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.4.2

        +1

      • Barfly 5.4.3

        My understanding is that there were multiple meetings over months with Sealord and that it was simply not interested, when the government went unilateral Sealord enlisted the Maori Party and now there is no , nor will there ever be, a Kermadec Sanctuary.

        • Robert Guyton 5.4.3.1

          The “interference” by elite Māori agencies causes a lot of skewed practice, Barfly. The potential for wealth/power/gain/privilege harms everyone but more immediately, those who have little of those “advantages”.

          • Barfly 5.4.3.1.1

            I agree to me it seems the Kermadec sanctuary was doomed not by Maori Treaty issues as much as it was doomed Maori Corporatocracy.

    • pcg0nemad 5.5

      Their opposition to the Kermadec Sanctuary is based on money. Iwi fishing organisations are big business who have zero interest in the broader concerns of conservation (or even the concerns of other Maori organisations).

  6. Keith 6

    The new policy I believe is to place the child, of any race, culture etc with the most caring safe family that can be found. This is surely the correct thing to do.

    This is opposed to the current law which says with the vulnerable childs own family first. And many of those families, of all races, are the same failed dysfunctional – so called family units the abuser came from and who themselves suffered such deprevation and abuse that they ended the damage abusers they are.

    Fox’s faux pointless battle is a sideshow distraction and only logical if viewed in that light because after kissing Nationals arse and propping them up for the past 8 + years to get a ride in the company limo’s, times up for the turncoat irrelevant Maori Party, Marama! But go on, blink first Marama, you’ve got no cred anyway!

    • Leftie 6.1

      +1000 Keith.

    • weka 6.2

      The new policy I believe is to place the child, of any race, culture etc with the most caring safe family that can be found. This is surely the correct thing to do.

      This is opposed to the current law which says with the vulnerable childs own family first. And many of those families, of all races, are the same failed dysfunctional – so called family units the abuser came from and who themselves suffered such deprevation and abuse that they ended the damage abusers they are.

      Afaik, the existing legislation says that the child can only be placed with whānau/hapū if that whānau is safe. So you are wrong there. It’s a pretty big claim to say that because one part of a Māori family is unsafe the whole extended clan is. Or that the whole culture is. Why is it so hard to trust Māori to do right by their kids?


      “Just because we want to provide a safe and loving home doesn’t make it mutually exclusive to a Maori home,” Fox said.

      “We’re not talking about putting a child back into an unsafe home – that’s stupid – but just because it’s a Maori home doesn’t make it an unsafe home and that’s where we want to make it explicit in the law.”

      We know that taking Māori (and other indigenous) kids out of their cultural milieu can cause long term damage.

      • Keith 6.2.1

        “It’s a pretty big claim to say that because one part of a Māori family is unsafe the whole extended clan is. Or that the whole culture is. Why is it so hard to trust Māori to do right by their kids?”

        I just knew someone would twist my words in fake outrage, I could see it coming a mile off. I trust any person that has a proven track record of caring and not abusing. I do not care what their culture is.

        But like it or not, white people also abuse their kids as do ALL other cultures other than Maori! No one is missing off this disgraceful list and the law applies to ALL cultures, no matter what their colour. Fox should be talking for all kids, she is not.

        For starters as I know about this subject CYF are under a lot obligation both in law and subtly otherwise to place a abused or vulnerable child with that child’s family or greater family. You can best believe it Weka, they don’t have much time with their work loads and lack of resources to look too hard. So the first port of call is always family because that ticks the incredibly important family box that the law says they must. So grandma may have little history with them or any other agency but she was directly involved in the raising of the abuser. Or the Aunt who was raised in the same abusive background. They become the easy but high risk option.

        In my experience one off abusers are not the norm, it inflicts the greater family in general and placing a child in its own “culture” does not even come close to guaranteeing it’s safety or care.

        But CYF’s primary concern, especially short term, has been to place that child with its culture then worry about safety and hope for the best.

        The new legislation simply requires CYF, or whatever the agency it will become, to place that child with a safe caring family with no other obligations. Ideally with its own culture but that is not a primary concern, only safety and care.

        If you want to be outraged then be outraged by the fact CYF needs far more funding, a huge amount more and it needs to have the resources to place kids somewhere safe temporarily until that safe family search can be completed. It needs a better model that looks not only at care and protection but also far better training in investigation into abuse.

        Child welfare has been reviewed and quite rightly because of the appalling stats and repeat stats that go with this subject. But I will argue National have done so also with an eye on spending. It will need another serious review by a better government.

        A abused or vulnerable child cares not what its colour is, but it MUST have protection and it MUST be safe and once that occurs they must not be passed from pillar to post. That is all that matters.

  7. Pat 7

    Has anyone asked the children??

    • Leftie 7.1

      Probably not, Pat.

    • weka 7.2

      “Has anyone asked the children??”

      yes. It’s not like Māori just randomly decided that having Māori kids go first to safe whānau was best. It’s evidence based.

      • Pat 7.2.1

        so no doubt there will be a number of research papers detailing those interviews, their responses and the conclusions drawn….any links?

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          I think you are quite capable of doing your own research Pat.

          • Pat 7.2.1.1.1

            now how did i know that was going to be your reply?….a simple link will support your claim

            • weka 7.2.1.1.1.1

              My original comment is based on 30 years of observing Māori in the public sphere and trying to learn about their culture. I don’t have a single link in my brain for what I said, and I’m not going to do the research to look for back up to suit you when you can do that yourself.

              There’s been a fair amount written about this particular issue (the legislation). My suggestion is you start with listening to what Māori have to say about it.

              • Pat

                so opinion…not evidence based.

                • weka

                  It’s possible for it to be both.

                  Do you really want to pick a fight with me over this?

                  And what PM says below.

                  • Pat

                    no need…your legendary hypocrisy has exposed itself again….what do you think it will be…2 weeks, 2020 or somewhere in-between?

                    [You don’t want to be here? Fine by me. Your pattern of debating like this (i.e an inability to wrangle the actual points and then derailing) has been an ongoing problem, and now you think it’s ok to gratuitously attack authors. Let’s say 2 months for the attack and I’ll make a note in the back end about the pattern of behaviour – weka]

                    • adam

                      Come on Pat, stop being a wad. Try the research from Massey University.

                      Mana magazine has done some pieces. Plus the biggie, as in the most pieces and relatively good accessibility are the ANZSW Journals.

                      Feel free to look them up. I think you find it quite informative. Not only for about here in NZ, but international work as well.

                      http://anzasw.nz/the-journal/

                      Seeing as you desperately need a link.

                • KJT

                  Keeping children with their own culture, as a first choice, is evidence based.
                  Removing them from the familiar, rarely has good results.

                  The evidence also shows that removing a child from their family, into CYFS foster care, is almost certainly the worst option.

                  If we followed the evidence, giving the child’s parents the education resources and support to be better parents is, in almost all cases, the best option. It is also the most expensive.

            • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.1.1.2

              now how did i know that was going to be your reply?….a simple link will support your claim

              Uh-uh. You asked a question and it was answered. You wanted to know whether anyone asked the children. Someone who’s aware that research has been carried out told you that the answer is yes, and research has been carried out. If you’re interested in evaluating some of that research, the onus is now on you to look it up and read it. No-one is obligated to hold your hand through the process.

      • Groundhog 7.2.2

        …with the emphasis on ‘safe’. There are cases where the current law has led to children being placed with decidedly ‘unsafe’ whanau.

        • Robert Guyton 7.2.2.1

          And decidedly unsafe nuclear families that are Pākehā.

          • Groundhog 7.2.2.1.1

            I didn’t specify by race.

            • Robert Guyton 7.2.2.1.1.1

              “whanau” is a race-neutral term? In any case, there’s evidence that families of different races living in NZ can be unsafe custody for at-risk children, rather than one specific (un-named) race.

              • Groundhog

                ““whanau” is a race-neutral term?”
                Indeed.

                ” there’s evidence that families of different races living in NZ can be unsafe custody for at-risk children”
                Indeed. This isn’t a race debate.

                • Your implication that any vetted family s suitable for any needy child, is simplistic and wrong. There are factors that have to be taken into account – cultural and racial backgrounds being two of those. Do you believe race or culture should have no weight in the decision-making about where a particular child should be placed? If you do, I’d love to hear your reasons.

                  • Foreign waka

                    Robert, for the Child – and I do soooo hope that this is the person we are talking about and having in mind all the way in this discussion – it is best to be taken out of an unsafe situation straight away. This may have the consequence that he/she has to be housed in care or with a caregiver that can be relied on as safe and sound for the time being until other avenues can be found. Every case is different, so lets say it is like an emergency provision.
                    I think we all owe this to those who are most vulnerable in society. Once we get over the pointing out of differences and see the similarity than there might just be a way to actually address the issue itself – by dealing with the abuser.

                    • Isn’t it those “other avenues” we are discussing here, Foreign Waka, the “resettlement” rather than the “emergency shelter”. If I’ve got that wrong, it’ll be because I’ve not read the issue closely enough, and will withdraw from the debate. And yes, the child is paramount, though the broader needs of all concerned have to be considered.

        • weka 7.2.2.2

          Which is a failure of the system, imo, not the law. Let’s not forget that CYFS is chronically underfunded, and that the govt as we speak is refusing to investigate historic abuse of children while in state care. We are just really bad at looking after vulnerable kids in this country, and trying to treat Māori kids as Pākehā will just make that worse.

          • Groundhog 7.2.2.2.1

            Possibly. But there is still something perverse about a law that enforces abuse, rather than provides wider options.

            • Robert Guyton 7.2.2.2.1.1

              “enforces” abuse?
              Surely, “inadvertently facilitates some” abuse would be a more accurate description. We should, if we haven’t already, adopt the best possible system for all concerned.

            • weka 7.2.2.2.1.2

              What law are you referring to?

              • Groundhog

                The current law that determines the priorities for decisions around placing children from abusive families.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …is based on evidence.

                  • Groundhog

                    No, it isn’t.

                    http://www.nzcpr.com/report-lifts-covers-on-child-abuse/
                    “Children being returned from care placements back into the care of their biological parents in their dysfunctional homes in 2010 were 23 times more likely to be abused than children who remained with unrelated carers. Children being returned to family or whanau placements were 10 times more likely to be abused.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When Rebstock can get her opinion published in a peer-reviewed journal, it’ll become evidence.

                      Even so, she cites systemic failures (eg: “The system is not effective in supporting families and whānau to care for their children”), whereas you fixate on ethnicity.

                      Racism like yours is one of the reasons for the stats you cite.

                    • Groundhog

                      In case you missed it, this discussion is about the issue of the placement of Maori children. Ethnicity is therefore an issue.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Greyrawshark is right. From my perspective, we have a massive Pākehā racist problem in New Zealand.

                    • Groundhog

                      “From my perspective, we have a massive Pākehā racist problem in New Zealand.”

                      Statistically we have a massive problem of child abuse among Maori families. You can frame this how you like, but until you open your eyes and own that fact, there will be no solutions.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Correlation is not causation. You have expressed your racist opinion that ethnicity is the determining factor ad nauseam.

                      In my book, you, and people like you, are a significant cause of child abuse. Expressing your racist opinion again won’t change my mind.

                    • Groundhog

                      “You have expressed your racist opinion that ethnicity is the determining factor ad nauseam.”

                      Where did I say it was a ‘determining factor’? You are making a common mistake of the left…barking at cars. Citing incontrovertible facts is not racism.

  8. I believe Fox is genuine and passionate in this instance and correct to boot. National’s position is seriously wrong. Fox will be true to here claim, I believe. It’s a fight that will cause English to fold, unless he feels he doesn’t need the Maori Party. In my opinion, he will lose all if he loses them or at least the appearance of his party’s relationship with Te Maori Party. If they divorce National, National’s done.

    • weka 8.1

      Early election?

      • DoublePlusGood 8.1.1

        No, he’s still got Rimmer and Toupee for support, so doesn’t need to call an election. He’s probably not aggressive enough to try to hurt the Māori party in a populist backlash, but still, he doesn’t need them until September.

    • Anne 8.2

      I’m with Marama Fox on this one. Thanks Robert for putting it succinctly.

    • KJT 8.3

      The Māori party suddenly developing a spine, just before the election is deeply fishy.

      There are many other things National has done which have been to the detriment of Māori. The Māori party have not said anything.
      Of course most of those things, have only affected Māori who are already disadvantaged.

      • Leftie 8.3.1

        +1000 KJT

      • piper 8.3.2

        Marama,must view English, as a soft touch, to manoeuvre as he struggles to grasp tight the rein!s of Key!s popular stallion.Oh how wrong,English,serious old school National,and history soiled in the farm fence of true blue National,and a working life of Parliament.

    • Enough is Enough 8.4

      For the Nats to get a fourth term they need Winston.

      Winston will not allow the Maori Party anywhere near a government he is in.

      Therefore Bill knows Maori support post the election is not needed. He will either be in opposition, or in government with Winston.

      He can tell Marama to fuck off on that basis, and win some red neck support in doing so.

      • Bill may not need The Māori Party, but he does need Māori votes and credibility in the Māori world. He’ll lose all that if he pushes ahead against the issue Fox is championing. Watch him fold.

        • Enough is Enough 8.4.1.1

          Since when has the National Party gone looking for the Maori vote? They are the party that doesn’t give a shit about Maori – remember Orewa.

          The only reason they have been slightly better under John Key is because they needed the Maori Party. Take them out of the equation and National will revert to the racist party they have always been.

          Bill will be more than happy to appeal to his core voters by telling Marama where to go.

          • Robert Guyton 8.4.1.1.1

            Every vote counts, EiE. If English was to do something that meant no Māori person would vote for his party, he’d sink his party deep. Insulting them at the visceral/emotional level where whanaungatanga sits would be just such an action. English’s “core” voters are too few to get him back in Government. He knows he has to maximise the National Party vote and minimise that of the Left parties so driving Māori to vote against him by insulting them at an emotional level is something he won’t do. Watch him fold.

            • Enough is Enough 8.4.1.1.1.1

              You give National far too much credit.

              Insulting Maori has never worried them in the past (except in the past 8 year when they needed Maori Party support)

              Do you think English standing his ground here is more insulting than previous National policies relating to Maori?

              Orewa is the perfect example of National’s stance towards Maori. National rose from nowhere to sit at 40% electoral support on the back of Brash’s Orewa speech. They haven’t dipped below that since that racist rant.

              You said “English’s “core” voters are too few to get him back in Government”. Bill knows that. It will be NZ First though, who again goes out of its way to offend Maori.

      • piper 8.4.2

        Winston,is in the box seat,he can deride,the Greens,and the Maori,and the Nats,for like him the Nats being protagonist will will forgive him.History.

  9. Siobhan 9

    My husband and I, both Pakeha, ended up fostering a young Maori youth we met when teaching screen printing to a group of vulnerable kids.. It wasn’t planned, we had 3 small children of our own. But he just fit in with us and the crew.
    He adopted us. (well, fostered us)
    Special permission was required given the fact we were Pakeha and had small children. BUT the thing was, this kid had been in care since birth, moved around from pillar to post for 14 years. 14 years..what sort of ‘care’ is that??
    I totally understand the desire to place Maori with Maori, but there should always be a door left open to consider that sometimes the best place for a kid can be found in the most unlikely families.

    • Wonderful, Siobhan – “a door left open”, certainly, but there has to be a hierarchy of options, a prioritised process for decision making and the one Fox is supporting is more appropriate than English’s, imo.

    • mauī 9.2

      Interested to know how the kid turned out in the end after the rough start?

      • Siobhan 9.2.1

        Not so well. When he turned 16 (?) he was ‘dumped’ by CYPS. There was no plan for further education, nowhere to live, nothing. We had some rather ugly meetings with the team at CYPS demanding that they arrange continuing support for housing and education, even if he was no longer living with us.
        They had 14 years to plan for his entering the ‘adult’ world.
        We could no longer keep him on the straight and narrow and we parted company.
        I tried to keep tabs on him, but had no legal rights so there was not much I could do.
        He would visit us occasionally, and seemed happy enough, certainly he managed to stay out of jail. But within a few years had his own kid….and so it goes on…

        We went on to foster a few other kids, but in the end could no longer deal with CYPS as an organisation.

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          I think that’s the argument for using the Māori-values system not the Pākēha one. Māori have seen that failure too many times. If that boy had an extended groups of adults to rely on and who would help him, then maybe it would be different. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fostered him (sounds like you did good). I’m saying that there are very good reasons for Māori to not trust that system and to want their own system instead.

          • Barfly 9.2.1.1.1

            The “system” is deeply flawed where is the concern for all the non Maori failed by the system?

            • weka 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Did you see the call this week for the govt to investigate historical abuses of children in state care?

              Most of my adult life I’ve been seeing concern about what the system is doing to kids (via various incarnations of CYFS).

              I’m not sure what your question means given that that concern is there and obvious.

              • Barfly

                “Did you see the call this week for the govt to investigate historical abuses of children in state care? ”

                Yeah I did see that.

                The important word to me in that sentence is HISTORICAL. What about the current regime?

                • weka

                  What about it? I certainly don’t think that we are doing that well in looking after kids now.

                  • Barfly

                    Yes and the focus of the topic is that it should be that maori children should be only be fostered in maori families which you argue for > Does that meant that there should be no ethnic barriers crossed?

                    What do you do with mixed race children? Only mixed race families ? Does maori ancestry take priority over others?

                    I see an enormous can of worms.

                    Why would the government seek to change the status quo? Is it perhaps a shortage of suitable maori families to foster maori children? Is it blatant racism on the governments part? That would seem unlikely.

                    Perhaps as others have suggested the whole thing is something of a false flag exercise so that National and the Maori Party can better appeal to elements of the voting population that Curia has identified would be swayed by this “issue”.

                    • weka

                      Yes and the focus of the topic is that it should be that maori children should be only be fostered in maori families which you argue for > Does that meant that there should be no ethnic barriers crossed?

                      No, it doesn’t. Seriously, it really doesn’t.

                      What do you do with mixed race children? Only mixed race families ? Does maori ancestry take priority over others?

                      Afaik if you whakapapa to iwi then you are Māori. This doesn’t preclude other ancestry. I don’t know what you mean by taking priority over. Do you mean that if a child was Indian and Māori that you are concerned that the Māori would be emphasised at the expense of the Indian? I’m going to guess that the policy would seek to place the child within the whānau/hapū system that best suited the child and that might be the Indian side of the family, but one would hope that connections with the Māori side would be supported to.

                      “I see an enormous can of worms.”

                      Such as?

                      Why would the government seek to change the status quo? Is it perhaps a shortage of suitable maori families to foster maori children? Is it blatant racism on the governments part? That would seem unlikely.

                      Given that the govt has done racism many times, I find it the most likely explanation. But institutional racism rather than blatant bigotry. If there was a shortage of Māori families, then the child would be placed in a non-Māori family. I don’t think the legislation says it’s compulsory.

                      Perhaps as others have suggested the whole thing is something of a false flag exercise so that National and the Maori Party can better appeal to elements of the voting population that Curia has identified would be swayed by this “issue”.

                      Except that other Māori have been commenting on this issue.

        • mauī 9.2.1.2

          Sorry to hear that. Great you helped those kids though.

    • piper 9.3

      Facts and figuers dont always tell the truth,yet prodominant in our papers and tv news,are Maori,when it comes to child abuse and mortality.As you say Siobhan,culture care is not grown from being but sharing,and culture if needed learned, can be shared by all of us.Sure its about our childrens saftey to nurtured in a safe place from harm,irrespective of our childrens culture.

    • piper 9.4

      Facts and figuers dont always tell the truth,yet prodominant in our papers and news,are Maori,when it comes to child abuse and mortality.As you say Siobhan,culture care is not grown from being but sharing,and culture if needed learned, can be shared by all of us.Sure its about our childrens saftey to nurtured in a safe place from harm,irrespective of our childrens culture.

  10. I believe that the Maori party wishes to distance itself from the Tories. After the election if they are success ,then back to the Nat’s .However I have more faith in the intelligence of Maori to believe they have had enough of this Tory lot.

    • Leftie 10.1

      It doesn’t appear that the Maori party have had enough of this tory lot.

      “Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said her party had a fundamental difference of opinion with National over a bill dealing with children in state care. But she dismissed suggestions it could end the party’s relationship with National, which it supports on confidence and supply.”

      “But she said she could not speak for the party on walking away. The first option was to stay and fight.”

      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11801395

  11. Michael 11

    Fox is just grandstanding ahead of the election, trying to paint her outfit as distinct from the Nats. English is playing his part too. The Maori party have nowhere else to go and English knows it. So does Fox.

  12. smilin 12

    There is no debate and nothing to handle politically
    Fox is right
    the govt is being divisive its the bottom line for Maori the way they view their child care and they are right and thats that
    English is being an obstruction

    • Leftie 12.1

      But the Maori party are sitting at the table, why didn’t the National government consult with their co partner, when the legislation was being drafted?

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