Blended Family

Safeguarding our children

New Zealand is strengthening the independent oversight of children’s issues and the Oranga Tamariki system

New Zealand has high aspirations for all of its children and young people. This is demonstrated by the Government’s commitment to put child wellbeing at the heart of what we do, encouraging all children to reach their full potential.

Recent changes to the Oranga Tamariki system reflect a bold overhaul of how New Zealand is responding to the needs of children and young people. These changes are transformational.

There are also new Government priorities for the reduction of child poverty for all children and embedding of a child wellbeing strategy.

New Zealand has existing arrangements for oversight of how the State is delivering for children. It includes both internal and independent oversight. Independent oversight contributes to building transparency, public trust and confidence. In conjunction with agency and State internal oversight mechanisms, it gives New Zealanders assurance that government agencies are using their powers appropriately, and that children and young people are living better lives.

Independent oversight is particularly important where government has statutory powers to protect children, such as the power to apply to the Family Court to remove children and young people from their families, and to place them with caregivers or in care and protection residences.

Independent oversight can improve practices and processes, as well as how people experience the system. It provides agency leaders, managers and Ministers with on-going access to a different and important perspective on agency processes and services, their decision-making and resource use. In this way, independent oversight contributes to a continuous learning culture and has valued system benefits.

So far we have talked with government agencies, crown entities and the existing oversight agencies. The consultation document sets out preliminary findings. We are now starting consultation that focuses on Māori, children and young people themselves, and key stakeholders outside of government, eg experts on the care and protection of children and young people.

If final policy decisions involve legislative change, there will be further opportunities for consultation during the Select Committee process.

Concerned about a child’s wellbeing or have a complaint or issue to resolve?

If you are concerned about the immediate wellbeing of a child or young person, call:

  • Police on 111
  • Oranga Tamariki on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459)

If you have complaint to make or issues to resolve you should contact the relevant agency, such as the Oranga Tamariki or the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. There is comprehensive information about getting help on the website Historical Abuse in State Care Royal Commission (for historical claims but also other matters).

As this review is not set up to address or respond to individual complaints or issues, if you need help we can put you in contact with the right agency or person.

Blended Family
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