The Hawke's Bay Practice Review

Oranga Tamariki released the findings of the Hawke’s Bay Practice Review in November 2020, and made immediate changes to ensure greater scrutiny on how children are taken into care and strengthen how we work with others. 

The Hawke's Bay Practice Review found that:

  • safety concerns for the baby meant Oranga Tamariki were right to get involved, but we made mistakes in how we worked with the whānau and other partners
  • we didn’t try hard enough to build good relationships with whānau members
  • we didn't explore options to place the baby with wider family
  • too much reliance was placed on historical information about the whānau instead of their current situation
  • the systems in place to check decisions didn’t work.

We accepted all the findings and recommendations and apologised to the whānau at the heart of the case.

We also made immediate changes to our practice to strengthen how we work with others. These include:

  • providing the right planning and support for parents and whānau at the earliest opportunity
  • making sure whānau are more involved – unless there is a clear need to protect a child from immediate and imminent danger, all custody applications are made ‘on notice’, so whānau know what’s happening and are involved in the court’s decision
  • better training and greater supervision for family group conferences
  • when staff need to act fast to keep a child safe, every Section 78 ‘without notice’ application will go through additional checks to ensure it's the right action.

Published: November 5, 2019