Oranga Tamariki Bill passes into law

Published: July 14, 2017

The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill was passed into law on 13 July 2017.

The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 has been renamed the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, with an accompanying title of the Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989.

The legislation:

  • changes the purposes and principles of the Act to better ensure children and young people are at the centre of decision-making while considering them within the context of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, family groups, and broader networks and communities
  • allows young people to remain or return to living with a caregiver until the age of 21, with transition support and advice available up to age 25
  • strengthens information sharing provisions to keep vulnerable children and young people safe from harm
  • extends the youth justice system to include most 17-year-olds (those charged with specified serious offences will be dealt with in the adult courts)
  • enhances the complaints processes.

A small number of amendments will take effect immediately, while the majority will come into force by Order in Council but no later than 1 July 2019.

Changes have also been made to the Vulnerable Children Act 2014, and there were minor changes to other legislation.

The Social Services Committee Final Report