Child, Youth and Family has confirmed it is investigating allegations of the abuse of two young boys in the care of guardians it had approved.
One of the accusations revealed in Christchurch newspaper The Press on Tuesday is that a three-year-old boy was forced to eat a cigarette butt.
CYF southern regional director Kelly Anderson says the guardians in question no longer have its approval and the boys have been placed in the care of approved caregivers.
Ms Anderson says the boys were placed with the guardians with the agreement of the family because their mother was unable to care for them.
Child, Youth and Family is also investigating its own involvement in the case.