We advocate for the interests, rights and wellbeing of children and young people

Our child-centred focus

In all our work we strive to be child-centred. This helps us to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child.Children up to the age of 18 make up nearly a quarter of our population, and ...

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Child Poverty

The previous Children's Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, made reducing child poverty a top priority for his term. We believe everyone from Government, to business, to our local communities has a role t...

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State of Care

The State of Care report series is an annual summary from our independent monitoring of the policies, practices and services of Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children. It includes feedback from childre...

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Hearing children's voices

A core part of our work is to engage with children and young people to ensure their voices are heard on issues that affect them.


Mai World: Child and Youth Voices

Rights of children in the care of the State

Our monitoring of Oranga Tamariki is strongly focused on children’s rights and we report publicly on our findings to help ensure that the rights of this particularly vulnerable group of children are respected and upheld.

All four general principles of the Children's Convention are of critical importance to children who come into contact with Oranga Tamariki:

  • The right to protection from discrimination (article 2);
  • That the best interests of the child should always be a primary consideration in any decisions affecting them (article 3);
  • The right to life, survival and development (article 6); and
  • The right to have an opinion and for that opinion to be heard in all matters affecting the child (article 12).

In addition, the Children's Convention guarantees several rights of specific importance to children who come into contact with Oranga Tamariki, for example:

  • that children should not be separated from their parents unless it is in their best interests (article 9),
  • the right to be protected from harm or maltreatment (article 19),
  • the right to special protection and support for children who cannot live with their parents (article 20),
  • the right for children placed away from home to have their treatment reviewed regularly (article 25), and
  • the right to help and support for children who have been abused or maltreated (article 39).

The children and young people who access Oranga Tamariki’s services have often had their rights impacted already. They are among the most vulnerable in the country, and it is critically important that their rights are upheld by the agency that is there to help.

Find out more about children’s rights