“It was the same old story from Kelvin Davis on Newshub Nation this morning, hiding behind yet another Oranga Tamariki review instead of taking action,” says ACT’s Children spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“Over the past couple of weeks Oranga Tamariki has been all through the headlines for sexual abuse, filming of fights, and attempted breakouts. Kelvin Davis wants to take credit for “flushing out the bad behaviour”. He should be ashamed that things have gotten so bad under his watch.

“As opposition Corrections spokesperson, Davis called for Ministers resign for much less than the long list of failures he has presided over. He should hold himself accountable to the same standard he does others and resign.

“Davis says they will review recruitment and training of staff. There was already an Oranga Tamariki review in 2021 that exposed issues around recruitment and training, do we really need another review to tell us what we already know? It’s time for action.

“The last few years has been proof enough that the Government can’t review their way out of this situation. At what point does the Minister take some responsibility?

ACT’s alternative budget transfers responsibility to Corrections and funds the construction of 200 new youth justice beds. There needs to be facilities run by Corrections available to hold offenders accountable. Davis himself admitted they should be looking towards Corrections for improvements to staff training.

“Oranga Tamariki is there to care for the vulnerable. Corrections is there to correct and rehabilitate. They are different jobs and Oranga Tamariki just isn’t up to the job of running these facilities.

“As well as keeping offenders safely away from the public, Corrections is there to rehabilitate. This means there can be a focus on ensuring access to mental health support and rehabilitation within a stable environment, in some cases, for the first time in their lives.

“Oranga Tamariki is failing in its core function, to provide care and protection to children in need. Minister Kelvin Davis has been missing in action for incident after incident, every time his department is pulled up for yet another issue he grumbles but nothing ever changes.

“Oranga Tamariki needs to be serving our most vulnerable children and giving them the best chance in life. There’s no more time for excuses and apologies, they need to start delivering.”

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