About us

Our journey

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, was formed as part of a bold overhaul of the existing care and protection, and youth justice systems.

The organisation will become a single point of accountability for the long-term wellbeing of vulnerable children, with the voice of the child represented at every stage of our planning and strategy.

The task ahead

We’re on a journey to ensure all children are in loving whānau and communities where oranga tamariki can be realised. Our aspirations are high, and the scale of the task is significant.

A priority is making sure all children receive care from loving, stable families at the earliest opportunity. It’s about investing in children now, so that we can prevent harm later. And it means using evidence to figure out what to do, and the best way to do it.

We also want this approach to be taken on board by every sector that’s involved with caring for children and young people. If we work together, we can make it happen.

It won’t be achieved overnight, but we have the determination needed to make this vision a reality. 

"Actually, just the love. We're one family."

Voices of young people

Our five-year plan

See the changes we aim to make in the coming years. Discover the voices of children and young people, family and whānau, caregivers, victims and our people and partners. See how these voices could respond to the changes we plan to make.

Early priorities

There's a lot happening. Here’s what you can expect from us in the near future:

  • Raising the age of care and protection to include 17 year olds
  • Enhancing the participation of children and young people
  • Developing a practice framework that is child-centred and trauma informed
  • Developing trauma resources for practitioners and caregivers
  • Improving the access to health and education services for all children in care
  • Increasing our front-line capacity by reducing or removing paperwork
  • Finding alternatives to custodial remand
  • Enhancing transition support, including supported living arrangements and access to youth services
  • Developing National Care Standards we can all work to
  • Aligning our regional boundaries to our partners so we can work together more effectively.
our journey hill

Legislation reform that supports our work

As part of the radical overhaul of care and protection and youth justice services, Cabinet committed to a significant programme of legislative reform to underpin the operation of the new system.

This is being done in two phases:

Phase one

The Children, Young Persons and their Families (Advocacy, Workforce and Age Settings) Amendment Bill came into effect on 1 April 2017 and includes:

  • extending the care and protection system to include 17 year olds
  • ensuring the views of our tamariki are heard and taken onto account
  • supporting the creation of independent advocacy services (such as VOYCE)
  • enabling a wider set of professionals to get involved in more ways.
Phase two

The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill is before Parliament. The proposals in this Bill cover a wide-ranging set of legislative reforms and will provide the foundations for the system by:

  • ensuring an effective and accountable child-centred system
  • improving outcomes for Māori
  • sharing information to better respond to vulnerable children and young people
  • changing the name of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act to the Oranga Tamariki Act, to reflect the nature and scope of the changes.


The Bill also supports the operation of the new Ministry’s five core services to:

  • target early investment in the lives of children and families
  • respond to concerns
  • help children and young people develop life-long relationships with caregiving families
  • help children and young people to lead crime-free lives
  • help young people transition to independence.

Delegation and subdelegation

These documents contain information about the delegations and subdelegation of operational functions and powers under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989. We provide this information on our public facing website in accordance with section 7F of this Act.