He Pāharakeke, he Rito Whakakīkinga Whāruarua – Waitangi Tribunal inquiry: WAI 2915

In Āperira 2021, the Waitangi Tribunal released the findings of their urgent inquiry into Oranga Tamariki. 

The Waitangi Tribunal's urgent inquiry into the consistency of Oranga Tamariki policies and practice with te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) considered the following 3 key questions with a particular focus from 2015 to the present:

  1. Why has there been such a significant and consistent disparity between the number of tamariki Māori and non-Māori tamariki being taken into state care under the auspices of Oranga Tamariki and its predecessors?
  2. To what extent will the legislative policy and practise changes introduced since 2017, and currently being implemented, change this disparity for the better?
  3. What (if any) additional changes to Crown legislation, policy or practice might be required in order to secure outcomes consistent with Te tiriti and its principles?

Concessions made

In Nōema 2020, Oranga Tamariki made some formal concessions on behalf of the Crown.

We acknowledged:

  • the Crown’s failure to implement the recommendations of the 1988 report Pūao Te Ata Tū (PDF, 551.4 KB) in a comprehensive and sustained manner
  • the presence and impacts of structural racism within the care and protection system and reiterated our commitment to addressing it
  • Māori perspectives and solutions in the care and protection system have been ignored.

To address this, we will partner and engage with Māori, so together we can deliver better outcomes for tamariki Māori.


In Āperira 2021, the findings from the Waitangi Tribunal urgent inquiry (Wai 2915) were released. We acknowledge and thank all claimants and our kaimahi involved in the hearings for their strength and for sharing their expertise and experiences. The findings and recommendations will inform the development of the future direction of Oranga Tamariki. 

More information about the Waitangi Tribunal

Published: May 1, 2021