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

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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

Stats on Kids

Stats on Kids gives you the numbers on kids - everyone under 18 years of age living in New Zealand.

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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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We are the independent and external monitor of Oranga Tamariki – not part of Oranga Tamariki or any other government agency.

Children's participation

We promote child-centred thinking among government and non-government agencies, including advice about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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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.

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Child Poverty

New Zealand’s current high rate of child poverty is one of our biggest barriers to full implementation of the Children's Convention. This is one reason it is such a strong focus of the OCC’s work.The ...

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Mana Mokopuna

Mana Mokopuna is the approach we developed to monitor services provided under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

Policy and practice advice

We provide advice to government and other organisations on issues affecting children at a systemic level, including the education system and enhancing child wellbeing.

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