IHC says the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People's Commission Bill undermines the
protection of children, particularly intellectually disabled and Māori children.
Tania Thomas, IHC Director of Advocacy, says the Bill must be withdrawn and redrafted to ensure children’s rights are
“This includes partnering with Māori and consulting with intellectually disabled children and their whānau who are also
disproportionally affected by the child protection system.
“I question how much input those most impacted had in drafting the Bill and the proposed changes have the potential to
do them harm by making it difficult to raise concerns or make complaints.
“Any redrafting of the Bill should only occur after the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care has handed down its final
report.” The Commission’s report is due to be delivered by June 2023.
“Monitoring of Oranga Tamariki needs to be independent of government. Issues of importance to children and young people
naturally sit with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
“The proposed monitoring and complaints system in the current Bill is complex, confusing and likely to water down the
powers of all agencies involved."
Tania Thomas says another concern is that the Bill doesn’t respect Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the right of Māori to
exercise authority over their communities with minimal Crown intervention.
“This includes the care and protection of their tamariki who have been and are consistently failed by culturally
“Despite the strong opposition from leading frontline experts, the government is pushing ahead with the Bill. This runs
counter to the ticket Labour came into power on, promising to make Aotearoa the best place in the world to be a child.”