September 30, 2021
Fixing Oranga Tamariki no fast job
The chair of the ministerial advisory group on Oranga Tamariki says closing down the agency isn’t an option.
The Government has committed to major changes in light of the group’s hard-hitting report.
Matthew Tukaki says problems with the state’s child and protection system have been going on for decades.
But scrapping the agency, as some critics are calling for, doesn’t answer what happens to the 77,000 notifications a year, the 8500 whānau going through family group conferences or the 5400 children and young people in care today.
“We’re saying this is about devolution of authority and we are also talking about building up capability and capacity, shifting of resources, all the things you need to do, including standing up of permanent governance arrangements of an agency for as I understand it the first time in this country in this form,” Mr Tukaki says.
Mr Tukaki says iwi and hapū are at different stages of being able to partner with Oranga Tamariki and take over some of its responsibilities, and a lot of work needs to be done to build up their capacity.