Oranga Tamariki 'satisfied there were sufficient supports' before returning Flaxmere boy to immediately family

Oranga Tamariki says it was "satisfied" before a four-year-old boy was returned to his Flaxmere home where he was later brutally beaten and left fighting for his life.

It follows a Newsroom report on Wednesday revealing Oranga Tamariki returned the boy to the household without consulting his wider whānau.

"In January this year, following extensive work with the family over many months, Oranga Tamariki was satisfied there were sufficient supports from wider whānau and professionals for the boy to be at home," said deputy chief executive of children and families south Alison McDonald, in response to the report.

"By then, his family had actively engaged in a range of services.

"Decisions like this are never made in isolation."

Oranga Tamariki says it takes into account the views of other professionals and information from the family.

On January 19, the boy was found at the Flaxmere property with extensive injuries. Detective Inspector Mike Foster said they were the worst he had seen on a child in 30 years of policing. 

In a statement, McDonald said Oranga Tamariki's priority was to focus on the boy and his recovery.

"Because of that, our comments will be limited to protect his privacy and the sensitivity of the ongoing police investigation."

The report revealed that following an incident in June last year, the child was removed from his immediate family and hospitalised in Wellington. His Auckland-based grandmother was appointed as his caregiver.

The child's grandfather Dion Te Ahu told Newsroom police revealed to him last week the investigation into the original incident is still open. Oranga Tamariki allegedly told the family that the investigation had been closed.