21 February 2024  Media Releases

Ombudsman’s report shows continual work needed to improve state care system for children

A thematic report of complaints about the state care system highlights the need for continual improvement to ensure the rights and interests of children are being met, says Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad.

Report on Children in Care: complaints to the Ombudsman 2019–2023, released today by Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier, is a thematic survey of complaints and other enquiries about Oranga Tamariki received by the Ombudsman over the past four years.

Along with emerging themes in the complaints received, it includes case studies and recommendations for improvements to the state care system, in particular its accountability and transparency practices. The report also outlines progress already achieved towards change in the oranga tamariki system.

Chief Children’s Commissioner Dr Claire Achmad welcomes this new report and acknowledges the Ombudsman’s important role to ensure transparency and accountability in government decision-making.

“This thematic report shines light on the serious implications that Oranga Tamariki decision-making has on the lives of mokopuna in state care and their whānau. Many of the findings in this report align with what young people and whānau have told us.

“Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission acknowledges the efforts Oranga Tamariki has made, and continues to make, to improve its practice and operations, as evidenced by some changes outlined in today’s report.

“Our focus within the oversight of oranga tamariki system is on mokopuna and their rights, interests, wellbeing and participation within the system, and it’s clear that more work is needed to ensure their rights are being met.

“We will continue to work with the Ombudsman and Aroturuki Tamariki – the Independent Children’s Monitor to provide collective oversight of, and advocacy for those within, the oranga tamariki system. The Ombudsman’s careful consideration and reporting of complaints is an important part of that oversight,” says Dr Achmad.


Editor’s notes

Find the Report on Children in Care: complaints to the Ombudsman 2019–2023 here.

Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People’s Commission is an Independent Crown Entity, and is the independent advocate for all children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Chief Children’s Commissioner is the full-time, visible advocate for all children and young people, and is the Chair of Mana Mokopuna’s Board.

Mana Mokopuna’s role in the oranga tamariki oversight system is to advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of all children, and, where needed, help mokopuna and their whānau navigate the system to resolve problems.

As an oversight of oranga tamariki system partner, Mana Mokopuna works closely with the two other partner organisations in this system, Aroturuki Tamariki – Independent Children’s Monitor, and the Office of the Ombudsman.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Melissa Wastney
Kaitohutohu - Senior Communications and Media Advisor
Mana Mokopuna – Children and Young People's Commission
029 909 2715