This morning Lillian spoke with Minister Tracey Martin of NZ First. Originally the proposed discussion was around policy and MMP given Martin has pushed back recently on what she says is a narrative in the media that NZ First is blocking certain policy - she’s asked why there’s less discussion on the policy NZ First tries to get through that also gets blocked. This ended up being a useful discussion about how MMP works and Lillian also asked whether the Minister believed this past government term has been successful.
However, this morning Lillian came across a Newsroom article which follows up on their ongoing investigation into Oranga Tamariki, so I put this to the Minister as well. Today we are going to hear that discussion and either tomorrow or Friday you can hear the rest of the MMP discussion and both will be available on podcast through the bFM website. The article by Newsroom addresses a range of claims made by people currently working for Oranga Tamariki as well as former employees. It addresses claims that describe the agency as ‘plagued with bad practice, bullying and incompetence’, the bullying described is often toward people who don’t toe the company line it says.
For full transparency, the article blurb is copied here:
“Last week Newsroom revealed details around Oranga Tamariki CEO Grainne Moss’ sudden exit from her previous role at Bupa and asked how, within months of receiving a payout, she had managed to secure a top job in the public service. Influential Māori leaders have been calling for her resignation for more than a year, with the heat turned up again this month after the release of the Children’s Commissioner report into the agency’s uplift practices. In the second part of this investigation we talk to current and former staff from Oranga Tamariki who share serious concerns over a culture in the government agency that they say can put tamariki at risk."
Furthermore, in the article it stated, 'in nearly all the conversations they had, the same issues were brought up no matter where in the country the OT staff were from'. Those issues are:
- Qualified social workers being replaced with unqualified youth or care workers
- Social workers being targeted if they complained
- Doubt over the way caseloads are calculated
- Children being misrepresented in documents going before courts
- Only paying lip service to Te Ao Māori
- Major issues with staffing at youth justice facilities
This is outlined here because there is not much discussion during the interview of the detail of the allegations.
EDIT: Update - Melanie Reid of Newsroom responded to the Minister implying this was a personal attack in an interview on Waatea.