National MP tells Oranga Tamariki minister to release delayed report

By Marena Mane

National's new Children and Oranga Tamariki spokesperson, Harete Hipango, says it's time for the government to release its findings into the workings at Oranga Tamariki. 

The latest of a series of reports into the culture of Oranga Tamariki was finished in June but delayed due to Covid-19 lockdowns.

Despite the interruption of Covid-19, Harete Hipango believes the report's delay is unacceptable, as are the excuses.

She says she expects the ministers to provide a reasonable explanation for the delay.

“The report was completed in June. It is simply inexcusable, to come up with an excuse to say that because of Covid, we're not releasing the report,” she says. 

Hipango claims that it is necessary to know what the recommendations are for the state welfare institution's dysfunction, as well as the improvements that are required.

“The minister needs to front up, needs to give face to explaining why the delay, and just get on with releasing the report.”

Hipango has spent over 20 years practising and specialising in child welfare law, so says she is well aware of institutional flaws, policy improvements that are needed, and legislative reports, “Why is it taking the minister so long to react and kick into gear and get some reform happening for the welfare, and the well-being of our tamariki and our whānau.”

“We need a government to make decisions, stop the delays. Stop tinkering around the edges and get on with the job that really needs to be done. That's going to be the well-being and welfare of our country.”

According to Hipango, Whānau Ora and Māori community organisations are the key to helping Māori babies rather than institutional care and she says, “The resourcing needs to come to our people in the communities.”