This is why Maori child abuse will not stop

Lindsay Mitchell in her blog yesterday commented on the “outrageous lie” Dame Tariana Turia told in her interview with Ryan Bridge on Magic Talk regarding the removal of Maori children by Oranga Tamariki. Turia thinks Maori are being unfairly picked on. 

Dame Tariana calls this “overkill”, and disputes Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Development)’s statistics that Maori children are six times more likely to die from abuse and neglect than non-Maori.

“The stats aren’t telling us that”, she says. “In the last few years since 1993, we have had 83 non-Maori children killed, we have had 17 Maori children die, so the fact of it is this is an overkill when it comes to Maori families. Now if you don’t want to call it racism, you can call it what you like.”

Lindsay Mitchell Blogspot

Turia said that over 26 years a total of 100 NZ children have been killed by abuse and neglect and Maori make up 17%. But where does she get these numbers from? They do not tally with government statistics.

Mitchell produced these tables from government sources:

Family violence death review committee
Family violence death review committee

Slightly muddied by the fact that the first set represent children under 15 and the second set, children under 19, combined they show that a total of 105 children (or youth) lost their lives in CAN (Child Abuse or Neglect) deaths over the 14 year period and 51 percent were Maori. I take no pleasure in these stats but Turia needs pulling up.

That she does, and Turia is at odds with the Maori Council who at least recognize the problem.

Maori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki said the country was developing its own ‘stolen generation’ of Maori children, referencing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children taken from their families in Australia.

Oranga Tamariki released data in March [2019] showing as of June last year, there were 6350 children and young people in state care in New Zealand, 59 per cent who were Maori.

In the last six months of 2018, 227 of those children were found to have been harmed, with about 70 per cent Maori.

“This is not new”, Tukaki said. “From 1960 to 1999, data shows an estimated 70 per cent of children in state care being Maori.


“We need to address what is going on and why nothing has changed.”

I think we know why nothing has changed. Maori refuse to acknowledge they have a problem and even when they admit it, as Tukaki does, his solution is to set up yet another body to hold the government to account.

“We need someone who is independent, and advocating specifically for Maori. We will also be keeping a closer track of the statistics, and holding the Government to account.”

A Newspaper

This attitude will keep Maori in exactly the same position.

The government cannot fix this because it is a cultural violence issue where Maori need to take stand up and take ownership. It’s called personal responsibility.

Turia is sticking her head in the sand and Tukaki is blaming the government and pleading for more money.

Pussyfooting around this problem has gone on for too long already. Maori will be in exactly the same untenable position regarding child abuse for as long as it takes for Maori leadership attitudes to change.  

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