Duncan Garner: Oranga Tamariki has been a freight train out of control

OPINION: Ombudsman Peter Boshier is the most courageous public servant I know.

He speaks truth to power - it's his job.

His latest report where he examined 74 of these traumatic baby uplifts over a two-year period highlights that he's not part of the protected circle of full, frank and meaningless wusses who duck and weave on behalf of the Government. 

He has a spine.

Seventy-four baby uplifts and you've seen the bedside horror as recently as last year in Hawke's Bay.

These are babies taken at birth from the hands of the mother, moments after birth.

Now before I carry on, some families are so anti-social, so thuggish and so wrapped up in crime and violence that the state must have the emergency powers to step in. I will always believe that.

But Oranga Tamariki had this default setting or culture where they decided everyone was like that.

They refused to engage with families and with any process at all, or when they did, they left it so late they had to use the option of last resort which meant without any notice they turned up and took the baby away. 

They did it once, twice, three times and they got lazy and they just continued the practice.

That's not a mistake they can be sorry for - that's a culture they established.

They're sorry, but only for being exposed.

In an era where consultation is king and nothing happens without face to face talks, where we walk on eggshells and go overboard not to offend, Oranga Tamariki was a freight train out of control.

Cheap platitudes were spoken, but hard arse action ruled.

The majority of these babies were Māori and Māori leaders are right to scream from the rooftops.

But frankly, screaming "racism" I think cheapens how seriously poor Oranga Tamariki has been.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.