We all remember the Hon Anne Tolley, the then minister of CYFS say “It’s important our vulnerable children and young people have a safe, stable and loving home so they can go on to lead successful lives,” followed by “Oranga Tamariki will put children and young people’s safety and wellbeing first. It will work with families and whānau to ensure children and young people get access to the care and support they need and will ensure they have a say in decisions that affect them – this is what young people have told me they want” how wrong could have she been.

Children living in poverty, being abused and youth detention centers nothing but quick solution to having KFC delivered for free to kids screaming out for help and intervention, hoping for some normality in their lives.

Only in February it was revealed that almost 3000 of the most vulnerable children in our country are not enrolled with a doctor, and GPs say Oranga Tamariki has never asked them for help fixing that, which brings me to the issue of just how competent they are to be overseeing the care of some of our most vulnerable.

Currently I am supporting 3 children, who father is in prison, and a protection order is held against their mother. Living with a wonderful caring whanau, but desperately in need of counselling given the lives they previously led and the trauma they have been subjected to.

Assessed in June 2023, and 5 months later Oranga Tamariki have still not arranged counselling for them.

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After conversing directly with management of Oranga Tamariki, I am then informed that the mother of the children is requesting care be given back to her, only months after her actions enforced a court to issues a protection order.

I could write all day about the continuing failings of Oranga Tamariki, but that will not get the solution that is desperately needed, which in my humble opinion is abolishment of Oranga Tamariki and starting from the beginning, which I seriously hope that the incoming government will do and is also something I will be strongly advocating for.


Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa


  1. It’s up to men to build institutions that are upstanding where it’s better to raise children and that’s about making money. The cultural groups that have high fertility are weird in that they are different from urban mono culture and what makes them weird is choosing lifestyles that is significantly below the lifestyle that they could live based off of what they earn because they believe there are things more important than showing off how great they are to the world.

  2. + 100
    And I’m getting bloody sick of Public Service Chief Executives and spin doctors’ “Hearts and Prayers” and misusing the word ’empathise’.
    Burn the bloody place down. It’s a bad joke.
    And I’m not averse to a replacement agency built from the bottom up using social workers and other staff from cultures where children are literally ‘raised by the village’. For that to happen though, we’d need to burn down Immigration NZ and get rid of needless bureaucracy (including spin doctors and overpaid consultants) so that there is more funding for worker bees and allow them tod get on with their jobs.

  3. Would you rather just leave those blameless children in homes where they are abused and neglected? Do you support a free-for-all in childcare – leave to the market (Seymour)? or devolve funding to Maori to allow Maori children to be placed with Maori carers (preferrably the same whanau, hapu, iwi by whakapapa?

    These are massively damaged children and rangatahi from damaged whanau (much of it intergenerational) where the norm is far from from this ideal it is simply ridiculous. Nice to conveniently point out the problems with no suggestion of solutions.

    • Whoar @ Bob. If you’re the @Bob I’m thinking you are – if not, apologies. I’m challenging you because that’s NOT what she’s saying.
      You’ll notice she’s currently supporting 3 children – probably with little meaningful support from OT, OR MSD, or any other government agency where over-paid spin meisters and Chief Executives occupy their comfy little nests while their underlings struggle with unrealistic case numbers to manage. and where their overLords have unreasonable expectations (in their spaces, going forward, rhubarb, rhubarb)
      As I’ve said previously, I’ve attended more Family Group Conferences than I care to remember. 4 siblings, one after the other over 25-30 years. Each time, an agreed outcome that most likely would have worked, but which was NEVER carried through due to bureaucratic interventions – often because that bureaucratic cistern deemed their supposed ‘cultural’ needs were more important than their physical and mental safety.

      It’s taken 25-30 years for those 4 siblings to realise that was a complete load of bullshit. (Probably the death – due to cancer – of their grandma [my sister], and grandpa that was always there to pick up the slack. One sibling is still a bit suss, but he’ll get there, eventually)
      [SO, ULTIMATELY] thankfully though, all seem to have realised [in the political space,going forward], ACT is not the answer, nor do/did they have the privileges of NZ First’s retail politician or his BFF Sunshine Man, and that Labour’s incrementalism was not, and will NEVER be enough.
      I won’t be around, but I’m picking they all better had try and do better, ‘cos I wouldn’t want to be in their designer shoes if they don’t.
      And I freely admit, my farts don’t smell nearly as gorjiss as theirs.

    • Bob, my focus under SJA is to help any individuals, especially those helpless children, that have been put into an environment of no fault of their own. If you do your research, you will know nothing has changed and the only way I believe, is to Abolish OT, start again, because it is an absolute mess. I have given you one solution? We are a charitable trust where this work is all done voluntary, can I ask you, if you would be interested in helping?

    • Bob are you serious!

      Jackie is pointing out OT is a shambles and she has given the solution “abolishment of Oranga Tamariki and starting from the beginning”

      Do you not realise that the so called homes you talk about where children are being abused are run and overseen by Oranga Tamariki!

      Wake up and smell the roses mate they are pretty precious at this time of the year.

    • So Jackie has given a simple solution, Whats yours Bob? Ill back Jackie but out of respect Ill be interested in your reply.

  4. Where are the Iwi leaders stepping up with their own money and organising and instructing the lives of these hopeless people who are the parents of these poor kiddies…if not ..Put these little darlings into homes of sensible, loving people, and get them as far away as possible from the brutal family , and extended family they were unfortunately born into….give these wee guys a chance in life, hugs , love…not broken bones , tears and a shortened life span…The fact that this brutal killing of little Maori babies just continues year after year , while millions are spent , in the name of stopping the violence ,is just the most despicable acts that politicians, parents , courts and do gooders, have done over the last few decades ….it must stop now…today….

    • Te Robs Mob — “Put these little darlings into homes of sensible, loving people”

      a) Robs Mob just described ‘do gooders’ ,,,,,,,

      b) there are not enough of them.

      c) So he’s offered up nothing, today ,,,

      d) I suspect if Act offered up the ‘cheap fix’ of sterilization Robs Mob would support it.

    • What a stupid comment. No bloody wonder Aotearoa is so racially divided with people like you. Let me guess you support a referendum on Te Tirity O Waitangi? Billy T would have had fun with you!

  5. Well written Jackie.

    having worked alongside Oranga Tamariki since its inception your words describe exactly what it is “a successive failure” but actually I would have used the words “shambolic mess”

    Children are dying under the “watchful eye” of Oranga Tamariki and nothing changed.

    Nia Glassie was one of the catalyst cases for change and soon after Oranga Tamariki was born, the birth of a disaster.

    Moko Rangitoheriri was abused and virtually beaten to death under the watchful of the governments new found solution for child abuse, an absolute disgrace but what happens everyone up in arms screams and carries on and then silence until the next systemic failure.

    Can we expect you to be visiting Wellington to change the politicians thoughts? I hope so because it will just carry on.

    I am hopeful Karen Chhour Act joins forces with Louise Upston National and sort this mess out but I am in no doubt supportive of cutting them off at the knees and starting again.

    Well written.

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