Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki launched 1 April 2017

Mon 03 Apr 2017

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki began operating on 1 April 2017. The new Ministry incorporates Child Youth and Family ...

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki began operating on 1 April 2017.

The new Ministry incorporates Child Youth and Family (CYF), some Ministry of Social Development and Community Investment functions, and the Children’s Action Plan Directorate, including Children’s Teams, Vulnerable Kids Information System (ViKI) and the Vulnerable Children’s Hub.

The five core services of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki will be developed and rolled out over the next four years, in four stages:

  • Stage one: transitioning existing services and support to the new Ministry and progressing the design and delivery of a suite of ‘early enhancements’ 
  • Stage two: implementation of Care Support and Transition Support services
  • Stage three: implementation of Youth Justice and Intensive Intervention services 
  • Stage four: implementation of Prevention services

The Ministry of Social Development provides more detailed information about changes that occured immediately on 1 April 2017, including:

  • care and protection services will include 17 year olds
  • centralised oversight and coordination of the feedback and complaints process; information to support children and young people giving feedback; ability to give feedback or raise concerns online
  • strengthened obligations to support children’s and young people’s participation
  • launch of the new child and youth advocacy service VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai
  • a new organisational structure with new regional boundaries 
  • new leadership roles, including a Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) for Tamariki Advocate and General Managers Māori and a similar role focused on Pacific children
  • new branding, website and email addresses. (The new website replaces the CYF, Community Investment and Children's Action Plan websites.)

For more information see the MSD website on the Investing in Children Programme.


Minister Anne Tolley announced the new ministry last year as part of reforms to child protection services. See the previous NZFVC stories for background information:

Minister indicates rethink on Māori children in care; Select Committee hears submissions, March 2017

Closing date extended for submissions on child protection bill; Māori continue to raise concerns, February 2017

Treaty claim lodged on move away from whānau, hapū, iwi placements for children in care, December 2016

"Ministry for Vulnerable Children" name criticised as replacement for Child, Youth and Family, August 2016

Government announces reforms to Child, Youth and Family, April 2016

Selected Media

Iwi Chairs call communities to speak out about child abuse, Māori Television, 05.05.2017

Where does the buck stop? The big question behind the launch of Oranga Tamariki stuff nation, Opinion: Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft, Stuff, 03.04.2017

'It can't fail' - Bill English not ruling out additional funding, wider scope for new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, One News, 03.04.2017

Can the Ministry for Vulnerable Children succeed where CYF failed?, The Spinoff, 03.04.2017

Concern over 'independent' child advocacy service's ties to govt, Newstalk ZB, 02.04.2017

Grave concerns over new ministry, newsroom, 02.04.2017

Launch of advocacy service for young people VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, Press Release: New Zealand Government, 01.04.2017

Oranga Tamariki boss not sure how many more social workers are needed, Newshub, 01.04.2017

Launch of VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai connects children in care, Press Release: Ministry of Social Development, 01.04.2017

The Nation: Lisa Owen interview Grainne Moss, Press Release: The Nation, Scoop, 01.04.2017

New Ministry for Vulnerable Children launched, Press Release: New Zealand Government, 31.03.2017

New children's ministry to be under 'constant restructure’, Radio NZ, 31.03.2017

Child advocate Anton Blank slams new 'hugely flawed' Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Newshub, 31.03.2017

New agency must deliver for Māori - Children's Commissioner, Māori Television, 31.03.2017

All children are vulnerable, Press Release: Child Poverty Action Group, Scoop, 31.03.2017

Oranga Tamariki deserves the best start, Press Release: New Zealand Labour Party, Scoop, 31.03.2017

Advocacy group for foster kids 'not just another patch job', Radio New Zealand, 31.03.2017

'Now we will really see if they do care' - youth advocate, Radio NZ, 31.03.2017

Oranga Tamariki - new agency aims to improve lives of vulnerable youth, Māori Television, 30.03.2017

CYF overhaul: Former foster care child Daryl Brougham speaks out, NZ Herald, 30.03.2017

Why a new Ministry for Vulnerable Children?, Radio NZ, 30.03.2017

Two days until launch and new CYF uncertain on staffing, Radio NZ, 30.03.2017

Record numbers of children in the care of CYF as Govt prepares for new era in state care, Stuff, 30.03.2017

Image: Pexels