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Ed Sheeran

Oranga Tamariki runs out of time for good care

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The Chief Ombudsman says Oranga Tamariki and its predecessor had failed to deliver on the promised of world-leading legislation.

Peter Boshier has delivered a damning report on the child protection agency’s attempted uplift of a baby in Hastings last year, saying that removals of pepi had become more by routine rather than the exception.

He says as a working judge when the old Social Welfare division became Child Youth and Family Services he understood the intention to shift power from the state and judges to empower whānau, hapū and iwi to discuss, agree and implement.

That vision faded, the shift to Oranga Tamariki had failed to fix the problem.

"Instead of whānau hui routinely occurring, in the 74 cases we looked at in many cases there had not even been a whānau hui and it was at the last minute Oranga Tamariki decided to take action, and it's called a Section 78 without notice application to the Family Court - well often they had run out of time so the baby was taken in pretty traumatic circumstances and I think we saw that reflected in Hastings where there was widespread coverage of that," Mr Boshier says.

He says it will take a quantum shift in cultural attitude for Oranga Tamariki to gain the trust of Māori across the country.

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