Children's Minister requests Oranga Tamariki review after unit video

2:21 pm on 29 June 2021

The Children's Minister Kelvin Davis has asked officials to get to the bottom of "unacceptable" behaviour exposed at Oranga Tamariki's care and protection units.

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Kelvin Davis said wants to make sure the reported behaviour isn't a system-wide problem. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Newsroom this morning published a video showing young people tackled, restrained and held in a headlock by staff at a facility.

Newsroom is reporting the young people are in the care of Oranga Tamariki's care and protection units, which are secure facilities for those with particular protection needs who cannot live with family.

Davis said after watching the video he asked Oranga Tamariki to review the units to ensure the reported behaviour was not a system-wide problem.

"We have also asked Oranga Tamariki officials, as well as the independent ministerial advisory board, to be on site to get to the bottom of things."

Davis would not say if the staff members shown in the video should be sacked. He said it was up to Oranga Tamariki to decide if they were up for the job.

"Look, it's unacceptable and this is what Oranga Tamariki needs to address to make sure everybody has the skills to be able to work in those environments."

The needs of children in the care and protection units were greater, Davis said.

"So that means we need people with greater skills and greater ability to actually deal with that behaviour ... it's important we have the right people in the right place who can do the job.

"It's a difficult job but that's no excuse for what we've seen in that video."

As for criminal charges, Davis said it was up to the police to determine if charges were necessary if a complaint was made.

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