“Vulnerable New Zealanders are continuing to be failed by Oranga Tamariki, with abuse complainants being left for two years with no resolution to their complaints,” says ACT’s Children spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“This is simply not good enough. The worst thing you can do as an organisation is lose the trust of youth, because to come forward takes huge courage and why would you come forward if you don't trust the system?

“Ihorangi, the teenager still waiting, reports that Oranga Tamariki’s designated helpline is often left unanswered. The phone is literally off the hook between Oranga Tamariki and at-risk youth.

“Oranga Tamariki has apologised and accept that this isn’t good enough, but at this point they have apologised so many times it is becoming meaningless, there needs to be real change.

“Where is Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis in all of this? His department has had controversy after controversy, and he is always missing in action. He needs to demand better from his department.

“The system isn’t working. Kelvin Davis needs to front up and explain what’s going on here and he needs to drive change. We’ve had review after review and apology after apology into the practices of Oranga Tamariki but the Minister is nowhere to be seen when it comes to delivering improvements.

“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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Karen Chhour