April 21, 2022
Oranga Tamariki needs to learn support role
The new chair of the Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board believes the organisation is heading in the right direction, but change won’t be as fast as some want.
Tā Mark Solomon replaces Matthew Tukaki, who has stepped down to allow the board to move into a new monitoring phase.
Interim chief executive Chappie Te Kani has only just appointed a new management team, and he needs to rebuild parts of the agency, including beefing up its frontline staff of caseworkers and social workers.
Tā Mark says some iwi are frustrated they have signed memorandums of understanding, but there seems to be no action.
“Part of what we’re pushing is that there be a relationship with the community, with Māori etc. They deal with the issues. OT needs to be there to help with building the capacity, working alongside the iwi,” he says.
Tā Mark says there have been some dramatic changes in some areas such as a reduction in section 78 uplifts of babies to just 21 in the last quarter – 11 pakeha, 9 Māori and one Māori-Pasifika.