8 Nov 2019

Tracey Martin responds to Oranga Tamariki review

From Morning Report, 7:16 am on 8 November 2019

Oranga Tamariki has released a review into an attempted uplift in the Hawke's Bay earlier in 2019, which found staff were right to step in but relied on old information and didn't try hard enough to place the child with other relatives.

The ministry is now promising families will get a say before judges make an interim custody order.

Minister for Children Tracey Martin says she still has not watched the video of the attempted uplift.

"I don't understand how, to do my job, you're suggesting that I watch a 45-minute video," she told Morning Report.

"I would say to you that the outcome that we have now is me doing my job, making sure that we change Oranga Tamariki into the child care and protection service that we need it to be.

"So this is part of me doing my job and I didn't need to watch a 45 minute video to do my job."

She does admit the actions shown on the video weren't good enough though.

"Nobody's denying out of this review that what has been said has happened is exactly what happened. Nobody said that. And at the time I don't recall saying that either.

"That is why I went to see Nga Iwi and that is why [we have] this internal review into what happened here in the months leading up to that moment, what happened and how did Oranga Tamariki perform.

"And in this instance they performed incredibly badly. That's why we have taken actions to stop this happening again.