Oranga Tamariki launches investigation following “inappropriate behaviour” by staff member

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 07, 2023 |

An investigation is underway after an Oranga Tamariki staff member allegedly got drunk with young people who had previously been in the care of a youth justice facility he works at.

Chris Lynch Media was sent video of the senior staff member who appears to be intoxicated according to the person who sent the video.

It was sent by another staff member who said they were quote “sick of inappropriate behaviour by staff being covered up by our management team.”

The senior staff member works at Te Puna Wai Youth Justice facility in Rolleston.

It’s the same facility where youth offenders were given KFC to come down off the roof in June.

The two clips show the staff member outside, while another clip shows him inside a venue.

The videos were not filmed at an OT facility a spokeswoman said.

However, Te Puna Wai Residence Manager Virgina Lavender said in a statement Oranga Tamariki is aware of a video appearing to show a staff member behaving inappropriately outside of work. 

“We take allegations of inappropriate behaviour by staff seriously and can confirm we are investigating the situation. 

“These allegations are disappointing, and we will be reminding our staff about what kind of behaviour we expect of them.

“The recent rapid review reinforced that our residences require significant improvement, and we remain committed to working through this process.   

“We welcome staff speaking up when they think other staff may be acting in a way that isn’t in the best interests of our rangatahi.  

The safety and well-being of young people in our care is central to what we do.” 

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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