May 03, 2021
Oranga Tamariki set to shrink
The head of Oranga Tamariki says while the Government’s aim is to reduce the number of children and young people directly under the care of the agency, it cannot be done away with altogether.
Sir Wira Gardiner says he is considering the report of the Waitangi Tribunal, as well as the other reposts that have been done into the agency.
The tribunal recommended the government step back from the care and protection of young Māori and hand the reform process to an independent Māori Transition Authority.
Sir Wira says he is already under instructions to invest more in local solutions from whānau, hapū and iwi providers, non-government and community organisations.
"Our aim is to shrink Oranga Tamariki but there will always be an Oranga Tamariki because there are some hard statutory risks and obligations which cannot be transferred out of government's hands and in any case I would be very surprised if there are any iwi, whānau, hapū who would want to take on some of those obligations because they are just tough. They're even tough for a government with all the resources that it has got," he says.
Sir Wira expects to present minis with a roadmap for the next four or five years next month, alongside a report being prepared by the minister’s advisory group headed by New Zealand Māori Council executive director Mathew Tukaki.
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