Oranga Tamariki and its relationship with Māori
Oranga Tamariki has been in the spotlight since its inception in 2017.
The name change was supposed to herald a new era for the Ministry which has been plagued by negative stories regarding the care of tamariki.
Since the Puao Te Ata Tu report in 1989, Māori have lobbied against state intervention and asked that at the very least, Te Tiriti o Waitangi should be enshrined in the legislation. Oranga Tamariki was the first Government Ministry to do so, and in 2019, further entrenched this with the introduction of Section 7AA, explicitly stating the duties of the chief executive in regards to the Treaty of Waitangi.
The legislation change in 2019 was heralded as a sea change in the way Oranga Tamariki engages with whānau, hapū and iwi and the way in which they care for tamariki Māori. But in the lead up to the legislation coming into affect a harrowing report by Newsroom documenting the attempted removal of a newborn baby triggered a number of inquiries by government organisations and an external Māori led investigation through Whānau Ora.