The co-chair of Labour's Māori caucus Willie Jackson has described Oranga Tamariki and its predecessor Child Youth and Family as being "out of control for many years" and "a disgrace".
But he was quick to defend its minister Tracey Martin in an interview with The Hui.
"I know you've got a minister who is committed to going forward."
Jackson's comments come after a highly critical report by the Chief Ombudsman found the agency routinely uses emergency court orders to remove babies and pēpē Māori from their whānau without consultation, when it should be used as a last resort.
A group of influential Māori leaders, including The chair of the National Urban Māori Authority Lady Tureiti Moxon, have called for the resignation of Oranga Tamariki CEO Grainne Moss.
Asked if he agreed Moss should go, Jackson said he couldn't comment.
"I've worked with those dames and what they're saying is quite right - the future is partnerships and devolvement and working with our people. Whatever they do with the CEO, we'll see what happens."
The Hui asked Moss for an interview but the request was declined.
Asked about the Māori seats, Jackson was adamant Labour has delivered for Māori "record investment in terms of Kōhanga Reo, record investment in terms Whānau Ora, more Māori judges than ever before, more Māori in district health boards", but says Labour is taking nothing for granted.
"All we know is that it's going to be a challenge."
Watch the video for the full interview.