Māori Party Co Leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says the country’s most senior Māori Minister Kelvin Davis must sack Oranga Tamariki Boss Grainne Moss immediately, following the shock resignation of her most senior Māoriappointment Hoani Lambert.

Lambert, handpicked to the crucial role of deputy CEO – second in charge – of the under-fire Ministry, will leave Oranga Tamariki for the department of Internal Affairs. Lambert’s initial appointment was one of an earmarked group to OrangaTamariki leadership roles.

News of his departure was made just minutes after Moss was grilled after appearing before the Waitangi Tribunal. The tribunal is investigating OrangaTamariki and the uplift of Māori babies taken into state care.

“The resignation of Lambert, Moss’ most senior Māori colleague, proves thereare major problems that run right through Oranga Tamariki, starting at the top,”Ngarewa-Packer said.

“How long can this government have faith in a CEO who has lost the confidenceof those who work for her and more importantly those she is tasked to protect?

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“Minister Davis must act swiftly and stop this rot within Oranga Tamariki.”

Moss claims she has the full confidence of her team, but Ngarewa-Packer said Moss must do the right thing and resign.

“Digging in your heels while everyone knows you are failing is not an idealsituation,” Ngarewa-Packer said.

The Māori Party wants a Mokopuna Māori Authority to look after the welfare of all Māori babies in need in place of Oranga Tamariki.