The new Minister of Children Kelvin Davis is casting doubt over the future of Oranga Tamariki boss Gráinne Moss, refusing to say if he has confidence in her.
He also revealed he is setting up a meeting with the head of the Public Services Commission (PSC) about the future leadership of Oranga Tamariki – New Zealand's children's ministry.
Speaking on The Nation this morning, Davis repeatedly refused to say if he had confidence in Moss as the agency's boss.
Asked if he had confidence in Moss, he said he would be having a conversation with the Public Services Commissioner over the coming week in regards to the leadership of Oranga Tamariki.
When pressed on the question of his confidence in Moss, he deflected.
"Like I said, I'll be meeting with the [Public] Services Commissioner about the leadership of Oranga Tamariki, as well as talking to my officials over the coming two weeks."
Moss has recently come under pressure to resign as head of Oranga Tamariki, after Newsroom cited anonymous sources complaining about the culture within the organisation.
There has also been criticism over the uplifting of Māori children – although Oranga Tamariki says it only uplifts children under exceptional circumstances.
Māori community leader Dame Nadia Glavish has called for Moss' resignation, as has Dame Tariana Turia. The pair cited a report by the Children's' Commissioner which identified deep "systemic issues" within Oranga Tamariki.
Moss said that report only captured a fraction of the 61,300 children the ministry worked with last year and Oranga Tamariki was not given a chance to provide input on the stories cited in the report.
Davis did reveal this morning he would be making changes to the agency.
"Over the next two weeks before Parliament starts again I will be meeting with stakeholders, the people who are Oranga Tamariki's harshest critics through to the officials and looking at what the options are," he said.
"We have had enough reviews; we now need to start putting in place the solutions that have been come up with."
But making a separate agency specifically for Māori within Oranga Tamariki was off the table.
This came as disappointing news to Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who told the Nation this separation was needed.
"That's not what the multiple reviews and audits are saying."
She said a separate Māori-focused section of Oranga Tamariki had been called for by those on the ground who have to live with "the consequence of racist organisations like Oranga Tamariki".