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Unreasonable actions throughout dealings with custodial caregiver

Ombudsmen Act 1975
Oranga Tamariki
Peter Boshier
Case number(s):
Issue date:

Use of incorrect, unverified information—failure to perform due diligence before removing mokopuna from grandmother—inadequate review of case, and inadequate response to review—failure to work with complainant in a way that met her needs as wāhine Māori


The complainant, the custodial caregiver of her mokopuna, complained to the Chief Ombudsman about Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children (the Ministry). The complaint concerned the Ministry’s removal of te tamaiti from her care, and the Ministry’s actions after reviewing her case.

The Chief Ombudsman investigated the complainant’s concerns, and also investigated whether the Ministry had failed to work with her in a manner consistent with her values and needs as wāhine Māori.

The Chief Ombudsman found that the Ministry had acted unreasonably throughout its dealings with the complainant.

The Ministry’s unreasonable actions included: using incorrect and unverified information about the complainant; failing to perform due diligence before removing her mokopuna; the Ministry’s review of the case failing to cover the wide-ranging issues that the complainant raised; and the Ministry failing to implement the review’s recommendations fairly.

The Chief Ombudsman’s recommendations included that the Ministry make an adequate apology to the complainant, pay for additional counselling for her, and improve its guidance for staff on working in a trauma-informed manner. The Ministry accepted all recommendations.

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