Civil service criticized for being slow to respond to abuse

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Adam Gifford

John Tamihere – Civil service criticized for being slow to respond to abuse

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West Auckland Māori service provider chief executive Te Whānau o Waipareira said the Crown agencies’ apology to the Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care rang hollow.

West Auckland Māori service provider chief executive Te Whānau o Waipareira said the Crown agencies’ apology to the Royal Commission into Abuse in State Care rang hollow.

The inquiry has just completed a two-week hearing in which chief executives of agencies like Oranga Tamariki, the police and social development faced off.

John Tamihere says the current heads of public services are people who have overseen abuse, and it’s not enough for them to apologize and walk away.

“I sat down with this guy Peter Hughes, who is the head of the civil service today when he was head of MSD, and he did nothing when we pointed it out to him in his office there- down at Bowen St in Wellington and I remember that to this day. In fact, I wrote to say ‘you have a seated cheek in this job given what you have done in perpetrating the problems,'” he says .

John Tamihere says bureaucrats feasted on Maori failure rather than fixing a broken system, and it was only through the protests of survivors and Maori that a door was opened to resolution.


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