New Zealand Law Society - Oranga Tamariki review terms of reference announced

Oranga Tamariki review terms of reference announced

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Minister for Children Tracey Martin has announced the terms of reference for the Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children review into the case of the Hawkes Bay mother and her baby.

The review will be led by the Chief Social Worker at Oranga Tamariki. Ms Martin says a person appointed by Ngāti Kahungunu and with the relevant expertise, mana and connection will provide independent oversight. She says the ministry is waiting for Ngāti Kahungunu to confirm who they wish to take on that role.

The Children’s Commissioner will also provide input into the design, progress and findings.

The review is limited to the period between 12 February 2019 and 9 May 2019. That is from the time Oranga Tamariki first became aware the mother was pregnant, until she and her baby were discharged from hospital.

The internal review will also consider whether the communication relating to the custody application was sufficient and whether it was appropriate for it to be made ‘without notice’.

The three objectives of the review are:

  • To understand what occurred from the perspective of the mother, father, whānau, Oranga Tamariki staff, iwi and other professionals
  • To identify what can be learned from a local and national perspective
  • To strengthen local relationships and ways of working together.

Ms Martin says the review is due to be completed by the end of July recognising, however, that the work will need to progress at a pace appropriate to the needs of the whānau, the ministry’s partners and the community. The decision about whether its findings will be made public will be made in consultation with the whānau and Ngāti Kahungunu.

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