The Oranga Tamariki Action Plan is a requirement of the Children’s Act 2014 – it formed part of a series of measures to protect and improve the wellbeing of children and young people with the greatest need. 

While development began in 2021, the following factors have provided the right conditions to introduce the Action Plan now:

  • a better understanding of need
  • the launch of the Child Youth and Wellbeing Strategy
  • changes to the social sector – including the establishment of Oranga Tamariki.

Legislation supports action

Legislative and statutory mechanisms are an important part of making sure different Government agencies have the tools to work together effectively. 

The Children’s Act 2014 requires shared responsibility as well as coordinated and collaborative action across children’s agencies to better protect vulnerable children. 

When that Act passed into law, it created new responsibilities for the 6 children’s agencies:

  • New Zealand Police – Ngā Pirihimana o Aotearoa
  • Ministry of Education – Te Tahuhu o Matauranga
  • Ministry of Social Development  – Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora  
  • Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora
  • Ministry of Justice  – Tahū o te Ture
  • Ministry for Children – Oranga Tamariki.

The heads of those departments became accountable for protecting and improving the lives of children, particularly those in poverty.

These reforms were proposed in the White Paper for Vulnerable Children (the White Paper) and the Children’s Action Plan released in October 2012.

The changes also supported the Better Public Services programme in the key result area of reducing the number of assaults on children. 

In 2019, the Child Youth Wellbeing Strategy was published. Following that, in April 2022 the Oranga Tamariki Action Plan was endorsed by Cabinet and published alongside an accompanying Implementation Plan on 9 July 2022. 

Our leadership drives accountability

Oversight of the Action Plan is provided by:

Social Wellbeing Board 

A range of public sector Chief Executives come together as the Social Wellbeing Board to oversee the Action Plan programme team. They also keep their organisation accountable for parts of the Action Plan they are responsible for. 

Child and Youth Wellbeing Ministers 

Child and Youth Wellbeing Ministers oversee the work of the Social Wellbeing Board. These Ministers hold portfolios that impact the wellbeing of children and young people – for example, the Minister for Education, Minister for Social Development, and Minister for Children.

Minister for Children 

The Minister for Children has been designated by the Prime Minister as the Minister responsible for the Action Plan. 

Published: March 22, 2023