There can be few things more heartbreaking than the forced separation of a child from its parent or parents.
Even when such action is deemed necessary in the interests of child protection, the situation can be traumatic for all parties, the implications far-reaching.
When mistakes are made, the hurt and harm is magnified.
The issue around how children are removed from their families by the state has come to the fore after an attempt by Oranga Tamariki - the Ministry for Children - to remove a week-old baby from its young mother in Hawke's Bay hospital last month.
Mounting public concern and political pressure have sparked several inquiries into the case and the practice in general: one by the Chief Ombudsman , one by the Children's Commissioner , and an internal inquiry by Oranga Tamariki itself.
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The number of inquiries risks a disjointed approach, coming as they do on top of other similar major investigations, namely the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions , and a significant review of the justice system .
However, if the various reports provide a broader, more in-depth overall picture, that is welcome.
It is vital all ministries, departments and agencies tasked with care, protection and justice - particularly when it comes to our most vulnerable children - are not abusing their powers. The public must have full confidence in staff and systems alike.
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There is no doubt Oranga Tamariki can be damned if it does intervene, damned if it doesn't. The roll call of child deaths in this country is often laid at the feet of it and its predecessors.
Significant work has been and is being done to address the failings. Oranga Tamariki was born after a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family in response to a government-tasked expert panel's recommendations around state care reform. It has been acknowledged there is more work to do, and the latest headlines have certainly shown that to be the case.
There must be an uncomfortable but unflinching look at the extent to which institutional and unconscious bias or outright racism are driving state policies such as Oranga Tamariki's "uplifting" of children.
The Christchurch mosque attacks may have spurred the powerful and unifying "This is not us" catch cry, but until we acknowledge, that in fact, racism is a part of our underlying culture, from casual conversations to entrenched beliefs, from individual actions to government systems, practices and policies, we are destined to let history continue to repeat.
Certainly, without brutal honesty, it is not going to be possible to enable the sort of "transformational change" this Government envisages.
Those changes will take more time and money. Critics will undoubtedly view with scepticism the announcement of more inquiries.
It is vital, then, they are not mere window dressing, but brutally honest. Without that as a foundation, it will not be possible to expose the ugly truths we would still prefer to veil in platitudes, will not be possible to begin to turn around the generations of hurt, misunderstanding and mistakes, will not be possible to undertake meaningful actions, implement real change and enable reconciliation to occur.
And while we're being honest, it must be acknowledged, too, there will inevitably be more shame and blame, more hurt, misunderstanding and mistakes made in the attempts to address the issues.
But those are not reasons to stop trying.