This report was written at the request of the Waitangi Tribunal in the matter of the Oranga Tamariki Urgent Inquiry (Wai 2915) under section 12(1)g of the Children’s Commissioner Act 2003.
The inquiry is focused on answering the following 3 questions:
1. Why has there been such a significant and consistent disparity between the number of tamariki Māori and non-Māori children being taken into state care under the auspices of Oranga Tamariki and it’s predecessors?
2. To what extent will the legislative, policy and practice changes introduced since 2017, and currently being implemented, change this disparity for the better?
3. What (if any) additional changes to Crown legislation, policy or practice might be required in order to secure outcomes consistent with Te Tiriti/the Treaty and its principles?
Our report draws on insights from our role as monitor of the statutory state care system, alongside specific insights from the first stage of our thematic review of the policies, processes and practices of Oranga Tamariki relating to care and protection issues for pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months, Te Kuku o Te Manawa. The final report and recommendations from our review will be published in the coming weeks.