Ngā Mōtika


All mokopuna have a special set of rights to ensure they live their best lives. Those rights come from whakapapa and from legal documents like Te Tiriti and the United Nations Children’s Convention. They ensure mokopuna have access to the best standard of health, their language and culture, things they need, and to a say in everything that affects them. There are many ways that the rights of children and young people are guaranteed, and our job to advocate on their behalf for those rights to be upheld.

Our role in the Children's Convention

The UN's Concluding Observations to Aotearoa New Zealand

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child assesses Aotearoa New Zealand's implementation of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure effective protection of children's rights.

It then makes recommendations, called 'Concluding Observations', to our Government to improve life for all mokopuna - children and young people - in Aotearoa New Zealand.

what do rights mean

Ngā motika i raro i ngā Tikanga Tamariki

Different rights under the Children’s Convention

We have connected the rights provided by the Children’s Convention to the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy. The Strategy is one way the Government meets the goals of the Children’s Convention to provide a safe, healthy and happy childhood for everyone in Aotearoa. We worked closely with mokopuna from across Aotearoa on the Strategy. The voices of these mokopuna helped the Prime Minister and Oranga Tamariki understand what a good life means for mokopuna in Aotearoa and set out six outcomes based on what they said.

These six outcomes are:

1 Loved safe and nurtured

Be loved, safe and nurtured

Mokopuna have the right to feel loved and supported, have a safe loving home, free from harm, and the ability to spend quality time with their whānau.

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Have what they need

Mokopuna and their whānau have the right to access all the basic things they need to live a good life.

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Be happy and healthy

Mokopuna have the right to the best possible standard of health, good mental wellbeing, and to live in healthy, sustainable environments.

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Are learning and developing

Mokopuna have the right to be progressing and achieving in education, to gain the knowledge, skills and to be encouraged to achieve their potential.

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Are accepted, respected and connected

Mokopuna have the right to feel valued and connected to their culture, language, beliefs and identity including whakapapa and tūrangawaewae.

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Are involved and empowered

Mokopuna have the right to be listened to and for their opinions to be taken into account. They have the right to be supported to be more independent as they get older, and to engage in active citizenship.

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Ngā ara rerekē ki te pupuri motika

Different ways rights are upheld

Mokopuna have rights in different ways. The rights of mokopuna Māori come from whakapapa mātauranga Māori, and tikanga Māori. These rights existed long before they were recognized by the Crown in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the founding document of Aotearoa.

Through the United Nations, the government has also agreed to promote and protect the rights of children, indigenous peoples and disabled people. Mokopuna can have rights as any of these population groups, whether it comes from whakapapa, legal documents, or both, rights matter and should be respected and upheld at all times.

Rights across different treaties