Sam Sachdeva is the political editor of the Newsroom, covering foreign affairs, trade, defense and security.
Taken by State
Oranga Tamariki have been asked to carry out an internal investigation into the escalation after officials failed to comply with the Children’s Minister’s demands for an explanation.
Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis has ordered Oranga Tamariki to conduct a formal case review of the appointments documented in the Newsroom investigation after officials gave him an unsatisfactory explanation for the actions presented.
News of the minister’s demands came after a High Court judge ordered the Newsroom to remove a documentary video about social worker Oranga Tamariki removing children from their ‘forever’ foster home.
In an interview, the minister told the Newsroom that he had watched most of the video and had summoned the Oranga Tamariki officials to his office to “explain please”.
“I was disturbed by what I saw – it was heartbreaking …
“The first thing we have to think about is the well-being of those children, and … having children in a safe and loving family is priority number one.”
Asked if it could keep Oranga Tamariki’s chief executive, Grainne Moss, to stay at the top of the ministry in light of the latest revelations, she said: “There is a problem with leadership, and I’m working on it, but let’s be clear that OT Change is more than just leadership. There is a systemic problem here and one person is not necessarily the problem, we have to look at the whole system. “
A Davis spokesman told the Newsroom that the minister had requested an urgent written briefing to answer a number of unresolved questions from his initial discussions with officials on Thursday morning.
The briefing failed to address his concerns, and when further clarification still failed to satisfy him, he formally asked the head of Tamariki Oranga social worker Grant Bennett to conduct a practical review of the appointment.
Terms of reference for review are currently being developed, with initial reports expected in mid-December.