A Pakeha Failure…

Anne Tolley, Minister of Social Development

Anne Tolley, Minister of Social Development

How ignorant and stupid can a Minster of Social Development be?

Anne Tolley has set up a so-called Expert Panel to make recommendations on “Modernising Child, Youth and Family” (CYF) .  56% of the children for whom CYF is responsible are Maori. So of course you would expect that at least half the panel would be Maori, with expertise in supporting tamariki and their whanau/hapu/iwi, and with creative ideas about how to change the present patterns of society and institutional failure… wouldn’t you?

Oh, no – not even one Maori has been appointed.  Where are even the representatives of the Maori Women’s Welfare League?  or of the government’s own Whanau Ora project? 

We simply cannot change the patterns of exclusion and oppression created during colonisation by appointing another colonial panel.  We’ve had  innumerable committees and reports produced already by such committees in the last fifty years.  What’s improved for Maori children?

In an interview on Maori Television on Monday evening (18 May) Anne Tolley was asked which of her panellists were Maori.  She replied that she hadn’t investigated “the bloodlines of the panellists.”  Bloodlines?  In the 21st century?  It’s the knowledge and experience, the mana and wairua of the panellists, that will determine the outcomes.  And although the five panellists may be fine people, they simply do not have the personal experience, the cultural knowledge, the mana or the wairua to contribute a Maori perspective effectively.

See the interview (Monday 18 May) on Native Affairs for yourself:


This interview was extraordinary for the dignity and patience of Prue Kapua, President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, and of Native Affairs presenter Mihingarangi Forbes, and for the complete unconscious racism and crassness of Anne Tolley. I felt profoundly outraged that one of our elected representatives, supposedly intelligent and living in the 21st century, could be so appalling and appoint such an inappropriate panel for the task.

I believe the Maori Women’s Welfare League, Whanau Ora leaders and the NZ Maori Council should together set up a parallel  panel of selected experts to recommend changes to Child Youth and Family – and send the bill for their activities, matched dollar for dollar with the bill for Tolley’s Five, to the Government.




  1. Margaret says

    The really horrific thing is that it is chaired by Paula Rebstock of the Welfare Working Group who have added their touch to beneficiaries and social services, under the guise of actuarial accounting terms including ‘forward liability’
    Neoliberalism, government withdrawal from core social services for the mostvulnerable of our citizens is increasingy framed as ‘mitigating risk’ to the body politic, and government withdrawal of core services with devolution by contract to agencies for specific outcomes.

  2. sylvia519 says

    And there is no social work representation on the panel. It’s all about commercialising social services like everything else, bringing the failed Charter schools system to core services, underpaying the face-to-face workers and bugger Paoa-te-ta-tu!

  3. Well said , Charmaine! It doesn’t help that Ms Tolley serves an electorate where 50% of the citizens are Maori.

  4. Adrienne Tunnicliffe says

    Unbelieveable, but it happens everywhere, all the time. Lack of consultation equals failure!

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