Te Pāti Māori are calling for a review on Oranga Tamariki’s Child Protection Protocol and the culture at their youth
residences, after a whistle blower video revealed physical abuse against children in state care by Oranga Tamariki staff
“I feel huge aroha for our tamariki who are already traumatised and clearly still at risk of abuse and humiliation in
state care. Many of these tamariki have come from backgrounds where violence and abuse is normal. These are the most
vulnerable people in the country” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“Why did it take this case going to media for the Child Protection Protocol to be triggered? What we’re hearing is that
the protocol hasn’t been reviewed or changed for years.
“There is clearly a broken culture within youth residences, that workers think it’s acceptable to use force with
children and not focus on de-escalation – that’s what happens when youth workers are being used to make up for the lack
of trained and experienced social workers and poor staff retention in residences.
“We expect the same level of care from Oranga Tamariki staff as they do for parents in the community. If anyone else
behaved this way, Oranga Tamariki would be taking their children from them. This is absolutely shameful behaviour.
“I am fearful for the children in state care right now who do not have a whistle blower looking out for them. The fact
that someone had to risk their job and safety to bring this to light is terrifying.”
“We need assurance from the Minister that the abuse and trauma of tamariki in state care will stop immediately. How will
you ensure that all of your staff are adequately trained and qualified to be caring for vulnerable tamariki? How will
you ensure that not one more of our mokopuna are abused in your care?”
“We have heard the harrowing stories of survivors who have been abused in state care. We have given far too many chances
to a Pākehā agency that has not only failed in its duty to care and protect our mokopuna, but is responsible for
inflicting intergenerational trauma. Enough is enough” said Ngarewa-Packer.