Partial repeal of the subsequent children provisions

Cabinet papers about amendments to the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 – partial repeal of the subsequent children provisions. A subsequent child is a tamaiti whose older sibling is in care and it is unlikely that tamaiti will return to their parent.

The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Act 2022, enacted in December 2022, partially repealed the subsequent children provisions.

This reflects Cabinet’s decision in July 2020 to partially repeal the provisions following a review that found the subsequent children provisions were complex and confusing, not commonly used, and pre-determined the risk of harm for tamariki. We have written a review of the evidence base supporting these changes.

The safety and wellbeing of tamariki remains our key priority, and the partial repeal does not diminish our ability to respond when we have concerns about the safety of a subsequent child.

The Oranga Tamariki Amendment Act 2022 retains the subsequent children provisions only for the small number of cases where the parent has a conviction for the murder, manslaughter or infanticide of a tamaiti in their care.

Cabinet also noted that further work was required to provide additional support to parents and whānau who are not in a position to provide long term care for their tamaiti or rangatahi. This was intended to support these parents and whānau to heal following child removal and to reduce risk for possible future tamariki.

Work has been undertaken to shape and cost these additional supports, which are intended to be co-designed with communities and delivered by iwi, Māori, and community providers. Oranga Tamariki is currently investigating options to fund this new support.

Published: May 20, 2022 · Updated: July 27, 2023