Newshub can reveal Children's Minister Kelvin Davis has ordered an immediate halt to 'reverse uplifts' - when children in state care are taken away from their foster parents and placed with whānau.
It comes as Oranga Tamariki boss Grainne Moss clings to her job despite the Children's Minister now questioning some system-wide processes within the agency.
Moss was back in front of the Waitangi Tribunal on Monday - under increasing pressure to resign - but the chief executive is not going down without a fight.
"There's a great deal of work to be done and we are showing progress and looking forward to continuing that," Moss told reporters.
Newshub understands even some of her own staff want her gone, but Moss said she believes she has the full confidence of her team.
Instead, Moss revealed on Monday that her deputy chief executive Hoani Lambert has just resigned.
"He's got another role," she explained.
Last month Moss admitted that her system was racist.
"Structural racism that exists in the current protection system reflects broader society and has also meant more tamariki Māori being reported to it," she said at the time.
But on Monday Moss clarified that she meant the whole system - housing, health, jobs, everything.
"Our concession on racism should be understood to be about institutional racism. The structural racism is across the system and is not confined to Oranga Tamariki," she said.
In other words, it's not her.
"Until all the systems that allow structural racism to continue are changed, we will see poor results," said Moss. "We will not stop - that is my promise."
Last month Newsroom published an investigation into tamariki being re-uplifted from homes they had been told would be their forever home. The Children's Minister was furious and ordered the Chief Social Worker to investigate.
Newshub can reveal the Chief Social Worker's report found the decision to uplift those children and place them with whānau was sound.
However, the report has also raised further questions for Davis around some system-wide processes within Oranga Tamariki and he's ordered an immediate pause on any further so-called 'reverse uplifts' until those processes are reviewed.