Oranga Tamariki

Yesterday a new Ministry was announced dedicated for the care and protection of children.

Like the Children’s Commissioner and many others I really don’t like the English name of the new Ministry so it may be better known by the Maori version – Oranga Tamariki.

Tamariki is well known as being young people, children.


1. (noun) survivor, food, livelihood, welfare, health, living.

So Oranga Tamariki looks appropriate enough.

New ministry dedicated to care and protection

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says that a new child-centred, stand-alone ministry with a new Chief Executive is to be established to focus on the care and protection of vulnerable children and young people.

Cross-agency advice from the State Services Commission, Treasury and MSD has recommended that, given the significance and scale of the proposed reforms to state care and protection, a stand-alone department is most likely to provide a single point of accountability, clear organisational focus and the ability to attract strong leadership. This reflects the advice given by the Minister’s independent expert panel, and has been agreed by Cabinet.

The new department, named the Ministry for Oranga Tamariki will begin operating by April 2017.

“The new ministry, new name and completely new operating model reflects our determination to remain absolutely focused on the individual needs of each child,” says Mrs Tolley.

“The inclusion of an aspirational Maori name as part of the title reinforces our clear expectation that much more needs to be done to address the fact that 6 out of ten kids in care are Maori.

“This is not a rebranding exercise. It is how this ministry performs, rather than its name, which will make a difference for vulnerable young people. It will also require strong leadership to implement the massive changes required over the next 4-5 years, as well as embed the necessary culture change within staff.”

Following an in-depth analysis and a detailed business case from the expert panel, the Minister recently announced wide-ranging state care reforms as part of a radical long-term overhaul, which will see the current crisis-management CYF system replaced by a completely new model which addresses the short and long-term wellbeing of at-risk children and supports their transition into adulthood.

This new ministry will focus on five core services – prevention, intensive intervention, care support services, transition support and a youth justice service aimed at preventing offending and reoffending, and will have the ability to directly purchase vital services such as trauma counselling as soon as they are needed by children.

A major transformation programme is underway at the moment, supported by $200 million of initial new investment in Budget 2016, and this is taking place alongside normal CYF operations which have received an extra $144 million for cost pressures.

Legislation is currently going through Parliament which will raise the age of state care and protection to a young person’s 18th birthday, ensure that children’s voices are heard in decisions which affect them, and establish an independent youth advocacy service.

“The long-term outcomes for young people in the current system are simply atrocious,” says Mrs Tolley.

“When we started this process nearly a year and a half ago, I promised that there would be no more tinkering around the edges. Fourteen reviews and numerous reorganisations have not improved the outcomes for children.

“A detailed, long-term plan over a number of years is required.

“Too many kids who come into contact with CYF end up on a benefit, or in prison, or with few qualifications. This has to stop. They deserve better than this, and the new operating model will put the needs of children first, above everything else, so that they can have the opportunity to live happy and successful lives.

“I’m also pleased to announce that a new Youth Advisory Panel comprised of young people in state care or with experience of state care will advise me and the transformation team as the new system is developed over the next few months.

“For too long the needs and opinions of children and young people in the care system have been ignored. The Youth Advisory Panel, the independent youth advocacy service, and legislation requiring that children’s voices must be heard in decisions affecting them, will mean that the new system is truly child-centred.”

The new Ministry will be reviewed after two years to ensure that it is working as it should and that it is delivering the expected results for children and young people.

Cabinet papers relevant to the overhaul of care and protection are available at:


Related speech from Anne Tolley: New ministry to focus solely on vulnerable children


Leave a comment


  1. alloytoo

     /  19th August 2016

    The bleating from the usual rabble started yesterday:


    it included a whinge because Anne Tolley declined to comment to their usual barrage of inane inequiries.

    The article ends with:

    “Here’s a tip for free: stop declining to comment.”

    Comments on this article on stuff are now closed.

    I love the smell of irony in the morning.

  2. Gezza

     /  19th August 2016

    I wish Oranga Tamarki every success.

    Time to stop restructuring, & re-analysing, and re-branding & paying Paula Rebstock $2,000 a day, & generally farting about in this area – just make it work, and make a difference.

    And it doesn’t make a difference within 12 months, take the Minister & the person in charge out the back & shoot them. See if that makes a difference.

    • Blazer

       /  19th August 2016

      $2000 a day….she must be …’worth it’!It must be the going rate and near impossible to get anyone for even $1000 a day.

    • Gezza

       /  19th August 2016

      Ok. Reconsidered. 12 months might be too harsh. That should be the incentive after two years if it hasn’t made a difference by then.

      Warning at 12 months.

      Steak, eggs, tomato, sausage, hash brown & chips – ONCE – at the Green Parrot if it has.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  19th August 2016

      Best get the buckshot out now G. This will go the way of all the other failed attempts, but hey let’s keep the dream alive by rebranding and giving it a funky name. The only solution to this is a tubal ligation for her and the snip for him. Identify and rank at-risk youth of breeding age. You trigger the threshold and we prevent you breeding. In doing so we stop the cycle and prevent more Mokos. I believe it will come to this eventually

      Someone very close to me confronts the consequences of deadbeat parenting on a daily basis. She has a revolving door of sexually active maori girls with multiple issues. She sends them back to school with a contraceptive injection that sterilises them for 4 months. Pervesely they strut round wearing ‘the block’ as a symbol of status

  3. Corky

     /  19th August 2016

    Oranga Tamariki? Nein!!! i

    The name will be butchered to: Oh-ranga Tam-a-ricky. Watch this space folks.

    • Gezza

       /  19th August 2016

      Awrunga Tumureekee will catch on once you correct them, Corky. Every little bit helps.

  4. Blazer

     /  19th August 2016

    The actual name is the Ministry of Vulnerable Children.When it is changed at a later date,someone will get the contract for new signage,stationery,etc…stupid name,with a stupid minister,from a stupid govt.

    • Corky

       /  19th August 2016

      Easy now, if National pull this off- and,admittedly, its a big if- then Labour are going to be in a whole world of hurt. Even if its half pulled off, that would be 100% better than what we have at present.

      Probably right about the signage though. But that will happen under a Labour Party.

      New name :Department Of Collective Child Services. Nickname-Collect My Children,bro.

    • alloytoo

       /  19th August 2016

      Are you objecting to the name, or the fact that someone might actually have to do honest work to receive money from the government?


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