Lady Tureiti Moxon: 'Filling their pockets with our misery' after state childcare exposed

By Stefan Dimitrof

A scathing review by Dame Karen Poutasi has exposed government agencies that failed five-year-old Malachi Subec, resulting in his murder by his caregiver.

Her review also listed critical recommendations to repair critical failures across departments that deal with state childcare.

Oranga Tamariki, the Ministry for Children, NZ Police, the Department of Corrections and the Ministries of Social Development, Education and Health chief executives have said they will make changes to the way they identify and respond to suspected child abuse.

But Te Kōhao Health managing director and National Urban Māori Authority chairwoman Lady Tureiti Moxon (Ngāti Pāhau Wera, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu) believes it is an "all too familiar" example of trying to fix a broken system.

“It’s an example of the internal breakdown of all government departments, and it’s ]the fix] never going to happen unless we have a transformational change.”

'How many more people need to die?'

Moxon said such situations were a direct result of the government departments' failures over a significant period, and it was not the first time a report had been released highlighting the failures.

“Here we go again giving them another chance. How many chances is one expected to give without any heads rolling? That’s what we need to be saying very clearly.

“We need to change the way things are being done. Māori need to be looking after our own and doing things for ourselves rather than the Crown thinking it has the answers for all of us."

Moxon said any loss of life was significant and should be acknowledged and it seemed government departments weren’t doing that.

“How many more people need to die? How many more reports need to be written, how much more fixing up and doing what we are doing that’s going to make this transformational change?

“It's been systemically broken for years and the people who have kept these government departments alive have been us, have been Māori; filling their pockets with our misery.”