Less children taken into care under partnership

Published: February 21, 2024

Since the signing of their Strategic Partnership agreement in 2022, Te Whānau o Waipareira and Oranga Tamariki have been working closer together for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau in need.

Pic of Jacqui
Te Whānau o Waipareira Director of Whānau Ora Jacqui Harema (right) with the Minister for Children Hon Karen Chhour during her visit to Te Whānau o Waipareira in Auckland in February 2023.

Te Whanau o Waipareira Director of Whānau Ora Jacqui Harema says, “Oranga Tamariki and Te Whānau o Waipareira have tried to really build a better relationship for whānau in Waitakere and that’s starting to have some fruits at the moment with better relationships regionally and locally and better communication in offices. That’s good for whānau so we’re just worried about making our relationships better so that our mahi on the ground for whānau can improve.”

In September 2022, Te Whanau o Waipareira signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with Oranga Tamariki and have also signed an outcomes agreement. The outcomes agreement sets out the desired outcomes Te Whanau o Waipareira are looking to achieve for their community, the specific services, the performance measures and other contractual details. These arrangements enable strategic partners to take a lead role in reducing the number of tamariki Māori coming into care and to support tamariki to remain safely in the care of their whānau, hapū and iwi.

Whānau involvement in Oranga Tamariki reducing Reports of Concern and entries of tamariki Māori into care

Jacqui says a decrease in Reports of Concern shows their relationship with Oranga Tamariki is working. In 2019 there were 12,142 Reports of Concern for tamariki in Tāmaki Makaurau. Then as at June 2023 that number decreased by 4312 to 7830.

Meanwhile the Total Entries to Care and Protection for tamariki Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau have also decreased by 145. In 2019 there were 251 entries, but that number dropped to 106.

There has also been a slight decrease in the number of Total Exits from Care and Protection for tamariki Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau. In 2019 there were 245 exits then in 2023 the number dropped to 204.

“This is about working with Oranga Tamariki and letting them know what we think works for whānau because we are the ones on the ground so we know what support they need,” Jacqui says.

Te Whanau o Waipareira looking to build relationships with other strategic partners

Te Whānau o Waipareira were also one of eight section 7AA strategic partners who attended the inaugural hui for strategic partners, hosted by Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Āti Awa in Pōneke in October 2023.

“Our attendance is about whanaungatanga and understanding what other iwi are doing with whānau in their area, what are some really good models of practice that people are using but models of practice from a very te ao Māori world view and leveraging off the collective knowledge of all of the strategic partners,” says Jacqui.

The strategic partners gathered alongside Oranga Tamariki leadership to kōrero about partnership, collective aspirations and Oranga Tamariki progress towards realising the Strategic Partnership agreements.

Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Te Āti Awa called and hosted the hui while Ngāpuhi, Te Kahu Oranga Whānau, Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, the Māori Women's Welfare League and Te Whānau o Waipareira all attended.

Jacqui says, “it’s the first hui so I don’t expect miracles to be happening, but ideally this group would become very strong and would be part of challenging Oranga Tamariki on all issues pertaining to tamariki and whānau.”