Calls for Oranga Tamariki residences to be shut down after serious allegations come to light

There are calls for Oranga Tamariki residences to be shut down following serious allegations about “inappropriate sexual behaviour” towards children in its care.

Earlier today, it was announced that two Oranga Tamariki staff members had been removed from two unnamed residences.

Chief executive Chappie Te Kani has, over the past week, been informed of two allegations involving staff acting inappropriately towards young people.

Te Kani said police were brought in “immediately” after he was notified and were investigating the claims. Oranga Tamariki was also conducting its own investigation.

About five young people were affected with all the alleged incidents having taken place within the last year.

Former police commissioner Mike Bush will take on leadership of all Youth Justice and Care and Protection residences, and “lead a rapid review across all our residences, including our Oranga Tamariki community-based homes”, Te Kani said.

Children’s Commissioner Judge Frances Eivers said her team went in for an unannounced visit as was routine under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture agreement.

During the visit, Eivers said her staff talked to a range of people at one residence and it became obvious there was an issue.

It was “serious enough” for her to pick up the phone, call Oranga Tamariki, and advise them of the situation, she told Checkpoint.

Eivers said she could not speak on the allegations as multiples investigations were underway but said it was good that Bush was looking at things across the board.

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