“Kelvin Davis has today told the Social Services Select Committee that he’s “not here to defend the indefensible” when it comes to Oranga Tamariki. He needs to accept that he’s the one who’s in charge of the indefensible,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“I grew up in the Child Youth and Family system. I was bounced around between different family members and foster care. I know the pain and suffering these kids are facing more than most.

“It doesn’t matter that the name has been changed from CYFS to Oranga Tamariki, children are still being failed. It’s heart breaking for me that nothing has changed since I was in the system.

“The internal complaints system obviously isn’t working. The Minister couldn’t answer my questions about why staff don’t feel like they can come forward with complaints instead of whistle-blowers being forced to going to the media with their concerns.

“It was left to the new Chief Executive to say he’s had to give out his personal mobile number to staff who have been stuck in the internal complaints system without response for months and years.

“We’ve had a Labour Government for four years. It has left these problems to fester. In response to the CE giving out his number all Kelvin Davis could say was, “it’s regrettable but understandable.”  

“Davis said today: “Yes mistakes have been made, yes we need to change.”  

“We’ve had review after review after review. The Minister has promised action and ACT will be holding him to account on that. 

“I have a Member’s Bill that would help with change now. The Oranga Tarmaiki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill, will ensure the wellbeing of the child comes before any other consideration. This will ensure the safety of our children and give our most vulnerable children the best chance in life.”