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Oranga Tamariki manager failed to report excessive use of force

The manager of the Oranga Tamariki facility at the centre of an abuse investigation knew staff used excessive force against a child, but failed to report it.

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Several staff at the Christchurch facility have now been stood down. Source: 1 NEWS

Several staff at Te Oranga facility in Christchurch have now been stood down and the troubled agency has revealed nearly a dozen children have been physically injured by their staff in recent years.

One child was even hospitalised from their injuries.

Oranga Tamariki staff stood down amid investigation into excessive force in residences

It comes as CCTV footage leaked by a whistle-blower to the media outlet Newsroom captured staff repeatedly using excessive force against one child.

It's not clear if the child's still at the Te Oranga care and protection facility.

'Bulldoze' Oranga Tamariki residences: Children’s Commissioner

Last year a child's arm was broken at the facility by staff using a restraint hold.

Other kids in care and protection units are getting hurt by restraint holds too.

“There have been 12 injuries over the last four years,” Minister for Children Kelvin Davis said.

Security expert Chris Lawton says restraint holds should be a last resort and he's not sure Oranga Tamariki's training is adequate.

“Sometimes their training is only a couple of days initially and the follow up is very minimal,” he said.

Te Oranga child care facility in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

“These things need to be trained on a regular basis, even monthly if you want to maintain your skills.”

Acting chief executive of Oranga Tamariki, Sir Wira Gardiner, acknowledged Care and Protection Residences were no longer fit for purpose because it meant 10 young people with complex needs were “cramped into one antiquated building” alongside 50 to 60 staff.

In the next three to four years, Oranga Tamariki would be building 10 smaller houses which would take in fewer children and staff, he said.

He said the new model would better replicate a loving environment.