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

The Children’s Commissioner has a mandate to contribute to the development of Oranga Tamariki’s new systems, policies and practices under the Children’s Commissioner Act, 2003. We encourage the design and development of policies and services that promote the wellbeing of children and young people in a range of ways.

We provide regular advice on policies that impact on children, young people and whānau involved in the care & protection and youth justice systems. 

We’re focused on ensuring that culturally responsive services are delivered to mokopuna Māori and their whānau. We also advocate for restrictions on the use of police cells for young people who have already appeared in court and a shift toward greater use of small, specialised community-based group homes for young people with high and complex needs. Read more about the Children’s Commissioner’s priorities for the coming year.

We advise on the design and development of services provided directly by Oranga Tamariki or through its contracted care providers.

Our advice about Oranga Tamariki’s service design and development projects is based on the information we collect about the experiences of young people and their families and whānau. We gather this evidence through all our monitoring activities - for example, we provide information about what works for young people living in residences and community group homes.

The focus of much of our current developmental work is supporting Oranga Tamariki to meet the requirements of the revised Oranga Tamariki Act, Oranga Tamariki Act 1989. These changes are particularly important for improving systems, services and supports for mokopuna Māori and their whānau. Our Whānau, Hapū and Iwi fact sheet provides details about the relevant changes to the legislation.

All our monitoring activities are scoped, planned and designed in partnership with Oranga Tamariki, and/or its contracted NGOs.

We publish State of Care reports that focus on what works and what needs to change.  

Our public reports provide information about our monitoring activities, our key findings and our recommendations. We use these State of Care reports to promote good practice and to advocate for systemic changes that improve outcomes for children, young people and their families and whānau.

We work with Oranga Tamariki to support the design, development and implementation of what is intended to be a world-leading care and protection, and youth justice system in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Read about the legislation.