“The Judicial Conduct Commissioner needs to become involved in a case where the Acting Head of Oranga Tamariki and two judges became inappropriately involved in a case,” says ACT’s Children spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“The Acting Head of Oranga Tamariki – Wira Gardiner and two senior judges intervened in a case that was part-way through involving a five-year-old girl.

“Oranga Tamariki is trying to remove the child from long-term caregivers it believes can’t meet the child’s ‘cultural needs’.

“An independent judiciary is more important than one case. They crossed a line that should never be crossed and there should be consequences for this.

“How are we supposed to maintain separation of politics and the judiciary if this is allowed to happen. This is how the impression of corruption starts, we need to have clear separation.

“While the actions of Mr Gardiner are unacceptable, what’s worse is the actions of the Chief District Court Judge who should know better than to intervene.

“ACT is calling on the Judicial Conduct Commissioner to launch an investigation.”