Independent Children’s Monitor holding regional hui

Tue 14 Jan 2020

The new Independent Children’s Monitor is organising hui around the country between January and March 2020.

The new Independent Children’s Monitor is organising hui around the country between January and March 2020.

The information sheet states:

"The purpose of the hui is to introduce the Independent Children’s Monitor, share decisions already taken and work completed so far and to understand how those who work in the sector and those who come into the contact with the Oranga Tamariki system would like to engage in this mahi in the future. This includes an overview from the agencies involved in this work (the Independent Children’s Monitor, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Office of the Ombudsman). There will be opportunities for you to ask questions and share your thoughts."

It states:

"While anyone is welcome to attend, the people that will benefit the most from coming along are government agencies, children’s professionals, local Iwi and providers. Part of our broader engagement plan is to arrange future engagement with caregivers, providers, tamariki, rangatahi and whānau for a later date in 2020."

The hui start on 22 January in Invercargill and continue through March at 18 different locations. See the Independent Children’s Monitor website for a full list of dates and locations and to register to attend.

Background information

In April 2019, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced work on the independent oversight of the children’s system (particularly children in state care). This announcement included initially appointing the Ministry of Social Development as the Independent Children’s Monitor with the intention that this role would eventually transfer to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. The Monitor is intended to operate independently from the Ministry of Social Development's core business.

The Independent Children’s Monitor was formally established on 1 July 2019 through the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989).

The Monitor "monitors the system of state care, not individual children." Initially it is responsible for monitoring agency compliance with Regulations 69 and 85 of the National Care Standards (NCS) Regulations (2018). These regulations relate to allegations of abuse or neglect of children in care and how these allegations are handled. It is monitoring four agencies: Dingwall Trust, Barnardos, Open Home Foundation, and Oranga Tamariki.

The Monitor expects to be monitoring all Regulations by December 2020. Once new legislation is passed, the Monitor will eventually expand the monitoring function to cover the whole of the "Oranga Tamariki system", from early intervention to post transition from care or custody.

The first newsletter from the Monitor (December 2019) described its purpose:

"The Monitor’s role is to support the system caring for tamariki (children) and rangatahi (young people) in state care. It does this by monitoring, assessing and providing assurance of the extent and quality of compliance under the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 and the associated National Care Standards Regulations 2018 (NCS Regulations). In the future, it will be asked to monitor the Oranga Tamariki system as a whole. The intention is to reflect a broad spectrum of monitoring from compliance and practice quality through to monitoring outcomes being achieved for tamariki and whānau, with a focus on continuous improvement."

The Monitor's website states:

"A group of key Māori leaders, the Kāhui Group was established in May 2019 and they are instrumental to achieving the engagement and collaboration goals for the policy and legislative phase. The Kāhui Group will continue to be involved in this process as it progresses, as well as providing advice and support into the monitoring assessment approach and how the Monitor will work in the future."

For more information see the website for the Independent Children's Monitor: You can also subscribe to email updates from the Monitor.


The Independent Monitor has published the first monitoring report. The report, Agency Compliance with Regulations 69 and 85 of the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations (2020), covers the first three months of monitoring, from 1 July to 30 September 2019. 

Related news

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner has published four new resources as part of the Commissioner's review of Oranga Tamariki's policies, processes and practice relating to care and protection issues for pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months. The resources include an infographic and a statistical snapshot which states:

"Since 2010, the overall rate of babies aged 0-3 months being placed in State custody has remained steady. However, the difference in the likelihood of pēpi Māori being placed in State custody compared to non-Māori babies has almost doubled. ... In 2019, pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months were 5 times more likely to be placed into State custody than non-Māori ... In comparison, in 2010 pēpi Māori aged 0-3 months were more than twice as likely to be placed into State custody than non-Māori ... The inequities for Māori are stark and widening."

The other resources are:

  • a ‘process map’ overview of relevant legislation, policies and practice requirements for Oranga Tamariki 
  • a description of the rights framework underpinning the care and protection system.

The Children's Commissioner states:

"The first substantive report arising from the Office’s review will be published in March and will include whānau voices, a literature review, and further care and protection data. This report will also identify high level areas for change that will be explored further in a second report. This second report will include detailed recommendations and is likely to be published later in 2020."

For more information about the Children's Commissioner and other reviews of Oranga Tamariki practice see our related articles below.

Related media

Iwi partnerships critical step for child protection, Waatea News, 22.01.2020

Revolution needed in Maori child protection, Waatea News, 21.01.2020

All Take and No Give in the State Mismanagement of Care, Press Release: The Maori Party, Scoop, 17.01.2020

'I don't really want our kids in Oranga Tamariki anymore', RNZ, 16.01.2020

Children’s Commissioner Report confirms racist discrimination against Māori by Oranga Tamariki, Waatea News, 17.01.2020

Māori babies five times more likely to be taken into state care, finds Children's Commissioner report, NZ Herald, 16.01.2020

'Deep, persistent and increasing inequity' in removal of Māori babies into state custody - report, Stuff, 16.01.2020

Image: Jeff Hendricks on Unsplash

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