Alan Duff has had enough

Alan Duff always speaks plainly, this time he is speaking plainly on the blame game over Moko’s death.

Back in NZ – and only Auckland – last week it seems as if I never left France.

Except for one major difference, the negative first: a young Maori couple from Taupo convicted of torturing then killing a child under their care. And not one Maori leader stood up and said anything.

There’s an awful pattern here and if we keep staying silent then the pattern will keep repeating itself. Maoris are more in need of learning parenting skills than are non-Maoris and that applies to a lot of Pacific Island parents too.

No, it’s not racist. It’s a fact. Don’t go into the whys and wherefores. Just look at the kids murdered, beaten up, sexually abused.

But, but they are taonga we are told.

A lot of kids in our beautiful country grow up like this and the vast majority are brown like me. Meanwhile, our tribal leaders trumpet their business triumphs while staying culpably silent on child abuse.

So what are your millions doing for them, Maori leaders? Nothing. Less than nothing with your platitudes and “heartfelt sympathies” falsely expressed, if you say anything at all.

You’d all better call an urgent hui at which you should be discussing do-ies. No ceremonial palaver, no lengthy speechifying, no floor-strutting, tokotoko-waving posturing. Just find solutions. Take it by the horns before another crop of innocent kids are lost forever.

All we have heard is wailing about a cartoon, and how it is everyone else’s fault.

You can bet those hideous child-killer monsters were never exposed to any positive, can-do attitude. No. They grew up on a diet of abuse.

They fell between the cracks at an early age and here our police hold a certain responsibility, though in no way the blame.

The cops have put too much emphasis on road safety and hardly any on safety in the home.

I have visited schools over the years and had certain noticeably serious-looking primary school girl students pointed out to me as suffering regular sexual abuse.

The poor teachers are their surrogate mothers, big sisters, yet unable to help.

The cops should be confronting the abusers and warning them their dues are coming and keep the pressure on them till they slip up.

Instead the cops sit in low-income neighbourhoods to catch car speedsters, pulling over a teacher or three for forgetting to fasten her/his seatbelt. As yet another child endures unimaginable sexual trauma.

Brutal but somewhat true.

If we can get rid of our terrible record on child abuse by Maori tribal leaders issuing books on Best Parenting Skills free to every household, and parenting classes held in every neighbourhood, I would reverse my criticism of the majority of Maori leaders and become their biggest advocate.

I suspect Alan Duff will die disappointed.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.