July 28, 2021
Reports expose frustration at pace of Oranga Tamariki change
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner says it wants to see what appetite there is for change in Oranga Tamariki’s care and protection residences.
The office has released 15 reports of inspections it has conducted into the residences under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.
They include allegations Oranga Tamariki staff assaulted and humiliated young people, gave them “hidings”, supplied cannabis, and stopped them from making complaints about their treatment.
Assistant Māori Commissioner for Children Glenis Philip-Barbara says the office is frustrated it has been raising issues for years and not seeing the major changes it believes are necessary – including the closure of the residences.
She says the young people deserve a place where they can be safe.
“Staff have talked about how stressful it is for them trying to deal with young people with complex mental health issues. We know even being in a residence-type situation, even being in a prison-type situation is stressful for young people struggling. We’ve got to do better,” Ms Philip-Barbara says.
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