Exclusive: 'Disturbing' video shows MMA-style fight at Oranga Tamariki youth justice facility

Newshub has obtained a shocking video showing an MMA-style fight at an Oranga Tamariki youth justice residence.

The fight happened at Korowai Manaaki in south Auckland - the same facility where, just days ago, five teenagers escaped onto the roof, causing significant damage during a 40-hour standoff.

Police are now investigating and we can reveal four staff members at the facility have already been stood down.

The video shows two young men unleashing on one another, egged on by fellow residents.

One of them is knocked down and called an expletive for not getting up. He fights on, is violently knocked down and can't get up.

"Very disturbed, to be honest, to me that looks like thuggery. It looks like a young person is being made to try to defend himself, because he's coming off second-best, no doubt about that. There's an adult in the background egging him on," said Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency chairwoman Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.

Online, Oranga Tamariki lays out what to expect at facilities like Korowai Manaaki. Youths are supposed to learn practical skills, and learn to manage anger and other problems. Instead, the video shows they're being beaten.

"It's always disturbing to see a young boy really beaten up. Beaten up in what should be a safe facility and it's happening in all five of the residential facilities," Raukawa-Tait said.

Oranga Tamariki said the fighting incident happened in mid-June and is now the subject of a Police investigation.

"Four staff who work within the residence were removed from any duties and any interaction at all with young people or children in the care of Oranga Tamariki," Oranga Tamariki deputy CEO Tusha Penny told Newshub.

And it appears the behaviour may be widespread.

"The action that the chief executive has taken, and he's been very public, acknowledgment that there are issues through the residences. To the depth of them? We are not sure at this stage."

A screenshot of the fight.
A screenshot of the fight. Photo credit: Newshub

Minister for Children Kelvin Davis has in years gone by been highly critical of violence committed by those in custody.

In a previous video he took aim at Serco and the Opposition over fighting at Mt Eden in 2015.

"Obviously they're trying to find excuses for why they've failed so abysmally. You know, that's the bottom line. It's just a failure," he said at the time.

"Is the Minister now saying that guards are training the inmates how to fight?"

Today, National's social development spokesperson Louise Upston told Newshub the Minister bears ultimate responsibility for this.

"It is a lack of leadership, and Kelvin Davis needs to take responsibility for what is occurring under his watch," she said.

On Tuesday Newshub was told Davis wasn't available, instead he issued a statement calling these scenes "deeply concerning" and "totally unacceptable".

"The fact is Oranga Tamariki Youth Justice residences have deep-set issues that require addressing," he told Newshub.

"The wide-ranging review of residences is aimed at flushing out any inappropriate behaviour, including any incidents like this.

"The young people who are in these facilities are some of the most vulnerable. That's why it's my expectation that Oranga Tamariki help them to get back on the right path."

Oranga Tamariki is already under fire over two incidents in as many weeks where unruly youth at two separate facilities have spent the night on the roof.

These claims also come after two staff members were removed from Oranga Tamariki residences following serious allegations involving inappropriate sexual behaviour.