How true was Judge Andrew Becroft’s statement in the Moko Rangitoheriri case: “Multiple agencies and professionals held pieces of information which, put together in retrospect, paint a clear and tragic picture of Moko’s final months and days”. I worked for 25 years in Social Services and was involved in a few cases where death had occurred. Each time there was a given amount of withholding information.
My biggest grumble was the attitude of CYFS, or Oranga Tamariki as it is now known. No matter how much info we had they would always come up with “We know what is best for that child”, or “We can’t because of the Privacy Act”.
No child should ever be taken from their whanau. If the whanau is dysfunctional, put a social worker or whanau worker inside that home eight hours a day, six days a week for at least two years or until the whanau can live with no violence, no drugs and no abuse. This does work, we tried it with a family of 10. concern to ratepayers and the staff are in control. Even the mayor keeps on being taken by surprise.
The burgeoning staff levels add to the number of theoreticians who make important decisions without any realisation of their practical consequences for their ultimate employers. Or if they do, the prevailing attitude that the bureaucrats know best and the councillors are a nuisance which has to be tolerated leads to the current Gilbertian situation where the tail is wagging the dog with impunity. Some docking or neutering is long overdue. I am a newly qualified teacher who loves New Zealand and hopes to teach there one day, but for now I am in Australia. I studied teaching in Melbourne and plan on remaining here for the next few years in order to earn enough to save for a house in Auckland or Wellington. Every time I think about coming back I consider the pay cut I would have to take, and for now my love of the country is not enough to pull me back. I’m so grateful for Winston Peters. At last we have some relief from the Donald Trump and Jacinda Ardern hype. Some mornings I am reluctant to make the trip to letterbox for the Herald as the thought of seeing those two again is not conducive to a happy breakfast. Winston truly qualifies as an “elder statesman” by his ability to maintain such a high- profile and charming exterior. I admire his ability to never give a definitive answer to anything. I didn’t vote for him but I cannot help admiring him. The felling of the historic Norfolk pine at Snells Beach is an indictment of our eco- destructive culture. The article by Grant McLachlan tells a tale of woe that is sadly familiar to anyone who has tried to deal with bureaucracy in trying to stand up for nature. That these mature trees cannot be seen for their magnificence as living organisms is bad enough, but that they are not valued for their ability to sequester carbon and produce oxygen just beggars belief. Why has Royal Oak Intermediate School chopped down an old tree by the gates? It was healthy, airy, in no one’s way and provided a habitat for birds who don’t care whether it was a “native” or not. Someone at the school said that he wished all the trees would go because they were “too big”. Cutting down trees that have stood for 50- odd years is not right.