Let’s Not Follow the Canadian Model to Address Child Abuse

Our esteemed prime minister is beating the child poverdy drum and mistakenly relying on Iwi in the process. 

The Canadian model indicates that this is a grave mistake, but Ardern reacts with emotion rather than logic, preferring to merely scratch the surface of a problem, as she did with the lack of affordable housing, rather than looking for a rational solution.

“While the problem of young children being taken from their families appears to be on the rise in New Zealand, the government does seem to acknowledge that this recognition of whanau, and iwi might go some way toward addressing Maori rights and interests in child welfare

Legislation set to take effect on July 1 intends to emphasise the obligation of the Ministry for Children to involve these groups in decision-making, and to recognise a child’s wider family—rather than just the parents—in care arrangements.”


That unfortunate child’s wider family are, in many instances, Iwi.

Brian Giesbrecht was a Provincial Court Judge in Manitoba, Canada, from 1976 to 2007 and he warns us about Canada’s disastrous indigenous experience.

“Canada has been “colonized” for 500 years, and there has been inter-marriage and partnering for all of that time. Who is and who is not “indigenous” is often just a matter of self-identification.

Although this idea involves a separateness for each reserve, or “nation”, it is also assumed that Canada would continue to finance the operation of these communities. Indian reserves in Canada are massively subsidized, and have always been. In most cases there is no reasonable prospect that these reserves, or “nations”, will be anything but permanently dependent on the federal government for their survival. These reserves are not independent nations in any meaningful sense.

Needless to say, I am an ardent opponent of this “parallel system”. One reason I retired from the bench when I did was to advocate for one set of laws for all Canadians. It is my belief that the incredibly expensive pursuit of the so-called “parallel system”, or “nation to nation” system is a dead-end quest that is doing damage to our country, while condemning the Indigenous underclass to a welfare dependent, life-wasting purgatory.”


Oranga Tamariki is under fire for removing Maori children and babies here from young Maori mothers subject to domestic violence, transient housing arrangements and drug and alcohol abusive families.

“Between 2015 and 2018, the number of Maori babies removed by the New Zealand state increased by 33 percent. For every 10,000 Maoris born in 2018, 102 were removed—more than quadruple the rate for the rest of the population. And despite being subject to a royal commission of inquiry into the abuse of children in its care, the state continues to insist it can do a better job of looking after these young children than the hundreds of Maori parents it intervenes upon.”


Why are we even discussing race? The real problem is unstable and unhealthy parenting creating an at risk environment for vulnerable babies and children.

Giesbrecht blames Canada’s welfare system.

“The modern welfare cheque has truly been the “poison pill” for the Indigenous underclass, both on reserves and in the city. The stigma and ethic concerning welfare that limited the assistance in mainstream society largely to people in need were simply lacking in Indigenous society. The result was that virtually everyone took the cheques, and by doing so condemned succeeding generations to a life of dependence, and all of the social dysfunction that goes with that dependence.”

Sound familiar?

“ […] politicians pretend that if they only reorganize the child welfare systems a bit more, provide more money for their operation, apologize a bit more, “deconstruct colonialism” (whatever that means), or further “Indigenize” the system, or place helpless children even more under the control of Indigenous activists – the problems will go away. 

And governments have been living in this fantasy world for many years now. They simply mouth the words that Indigenous activists tell them to use, and the problem gets more serious with each passing year. The reality is that governments don’t know what to do about this intractable problem, and want somebody to take the problem off their hands.”

That problem is rising child abuse statistics.

“For the next two decades a combination of incompetence and ideological zealotry condemned many Indigenous children to bleak lives. Children were regarded as the property of Indigenous tribes, and this lead to tragedies. 

Children who had been in stable homes with loving parents since birth were taken from their homes and placed in Indigenous homes, simply because the foster parents were not Indigenous. In one particularly egregious case a young girl was taken from a stable home and placed in the home of strangers on a brutal northern reserve, where she was repeatedly gang-raped. She never recovered. 

There were a number of high profile deaths of children supposedly under the care of an agency that resulted from a combination of incompetent care at the agency’s hands, and placement with biological parents who were totally incapable of looking after children. Deaths were followed by inquiries that made many recommendations- most of which were not followed.”

“This pattern continued for many years – substandard care, ideology over common sense – best interests trumped by racial considerations. To their credit, the Indigenous agencies have now largely managed to get their acts together, and they are coming closer to the standard of care that existed before they took over decades ago. There is at least passing mention of the best interests test. 

This is exactly what we will continue to experience here if we address child violence based on race.

But racial considerations are still given far too much emphasis, and the numbers of Indigenous children are still going up and not down. It turns out that culture was never the problem. Children need loving, stable homes. Racial, religious and ethnic considerations are secondary.”