This is a follow up to Ian’s 14 October article on “New Zealand Apartheid is Already Here”.

By Ian Bradford

The Moana Decision

Earlier in September 2021 the Family Court ruled that six year old Maori girl who had lived with Pakeha care givers for the past three years was to stay with them after Oranga Tamariki wanted to remove her because her “cultural needs” were not being met. 

This girl was traumatised and neglected before being placed with the Pakeha couple. Fortunately for Moana, warmth, love, affection, and mental and physical wellbeing triumphed over cultural ideology. 

Oranga Tamariki’s claim that Moana’s parents were “stripping off her whakapapa”  were found to have no foundation. In fact the judge found that Oranga Tamariki neglected the parent’s requests for more information on Moana’s whanau and whakapapa. ( Whakapapa is how Maori learn their family history and find their genealogy. It is how they link themselves to land and tribal groupings.) It seemed that the real reason for taking Moana away was simply that they were not Maori. 

The judge was particularly scathing of the staff at Oranga Tamariki in that they failed to appreciate the need for honesty and accuracy when compiling reports. Social workers appeared to place little importance on documents that were vital to a child’s wellbeing. 

Clearly, if the girl had been shifted after being settled in a loving family then it would have been traumatic for her. 

Presumably, because of the dates involved, the new management under part-Maori would have been in place. Is this kind of thing, a taste of what is to come under part-Maori management?   

Doesn’t this have racist overtones? 

Unfortunately, this is not the end of the affair. Moana’s birth mother, probably funded by the tax payer, and stirred on by activists, is to appeal the judgment.  Pity they just can’t leave the girl alone to get on with her obviously stable life.

 Any more disruption may affect her permanently. Will the government demand a review of Oranga Tamariki?  Not very likely. 

There’s more too. Two senior judges Heemi Taumaunu and Jackie Moran, assisted by the then head of Oranga Tamariki, Sir Wira Gardener, tried to intervene while the case of Moana was proceeding. They earned a sharp rebuke from the presiding judge Peter Callinicos. 

He said their actions were inappropriate and any communication would be a breach of judicial independence. So here we had two part-Maori and clearly a supporter, trying to influence the outcome of this hearing. This is almost unheard of in NZ judicial proceedings. 

Judge Callinicos was praised for his standing up to senior judges. 

Karl du Fresne writes “that there is a risk that Labour’s 15 strong Maori caucus – almost a government within a government, will push to change the current Family Court rules so that iwi input in similar child care cases will be prioritised over other factors.” This would certainly be racism and the promotion of separatist models of care. 

Yet is goes on.  Recently, the Judicial Conduct Commissioner, Alan Ritchie, found that the two senior judges did not act inappropriately when they contacted Family Court judge Peter Callinicos. Judge Taumaunu denied any attempt to direct Judge Callinicos. Instead he accused Judge Callinicos of engaging in a pattern of bullying behaviour.  It looks a bit like judges have to tow the line. Peter Callinicos seems to have made the mistake of antagonising activist women’s groups and siding with a pakeha couple against Oranga Tamariki and the local iwi. 

Separate part-Maori health system

District Health Boards will be abolished and a new Maori Health Authority will be established in a sweeping set of health system reforms announced by the government earlier this year.  Centralisation will take place and the new entity will be called Health New Zealand. A Maori Health Authority will have the power to commission health services, monitor the state of Maori health and develop policy. 

Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare said, “The Maori Health Authority will have joint decision making rights to agree national strategies, policies and plans that affect Maori at all levels of the system and it will work in partnership with Health New Zealand to ensure that service plans and the commissioning of health services drives improvement.”

National’s Judith Collins said, “People need help through the public health system regardless of their ethnicity, and they should get it.”

It appears the government has provided $242 million for this Maori Health Authority. Pity this money was not given to struggling DHB’s along with the $700 million that would have been for a cycle bridge over the Auckland Harbour. This government has starved the DHB’s of much needed cash.  Perhaps that was the policy so that the government could then say the DHB’s were not performing. They were not performing because they badly needed more finance. Instead we are now faced with separatism. 

Relating to Te Tiriti o Waitangi

I continually hear that the life expectancy of Maori is less than that of the rest of us. Yet it is never mentioned that before the Treaty was signed the life expectancy of Maori was just 30 years. It is now 73.4 for Males and 77.1 for females.  An increase of 43 and 47 years respectively.  We Pakeha must have done some good! 

Under a Ministry of Health’s article is written “The principles of Te Tiriti O Waitangi, as articulated by the courts and the Waitangi Tribunal provide the framework for how we will meet our obligations under Te Tiriti in our day to day work.” 

There are NO principles. It is ironic that the Waitangi Tribunal with fluent Maori speakers have NEVER used Te Tiriti O Waitangi in any treaty settlements but are now quoting it. The Maori version is the only true treaty signed by over 500 chiefs. 

The Government’s Cabinet paper reveals that the Maori Health Authority will also have the power to veto any decision made by Health New Zealand.  So we have a separate health system for a small privileged group and now this small race based group has the power to run our entire health system. 

What is next? Does the government provide a separate education system, and a separate justice system? There has been talk of a separate Parliament for Maori. If you read the correct translation of the Maori version of the Treaty you will see that there are no principles mentioned and no mention of partnership. This partnership idea is yet another convenient way for Maori getting what they want.  

The Three Waters Scheme: 50% iwi control

Three Waters refers to drinking water, waste water, and sewerage.  

Under Three Waters, 67 district and territorial councils’ drinking, waste and storm water assets would come under control of four large regional entities. Each would be governed by a board consisting of six council representatives and six iwi appointees. 

The government is talking about Maori rights and interests in fresh water. In He Puapua it states: “ Iwi/maori rights and interests in anything water related are broad and integral.” He Puapua also states, “There are two significant Treaty principles applicable to the Three Waters Review: partnership and active protection.”  

But there are NO treaty principles from 1840. There is also NO partnership. Where does Te Tiriti o Waitangi say there is a partnership between the Crown and Maori?  

Three Waters is all about significant iwi ownership and control. Only iwi/Maori will have ownership rights. Councils will have none. The Three Waters Cabinet decisions shows a clear intention to establish a system dominated by the rights and interests of Maori. 

If Nanaia Mahuta tries to force Three Waters through by legislation (over 90% of Councils are opposed), then we may see the largest backlash ever seen in this country. 


Doutre, Martin:  The Littlewood Treaty. The True English Text of the Treaty of Waitangi. De Danaan publishers 2005. 

Hobson’s Pledge Trust: Three Waters All About Iwi Ownership, Control. 4 October 2021 

He Puapua:   Page five of the Proposals. 

Newshub: Are Councils Being Stripped of Assets? Will Maori Have Veto? Three waters Explained. 1 September 2021.

RNZ:  Three waters: What You Need to Know. Sept 2021 Report from the Waimakariri District Council:  28 September 2021