Primary Health Care Enrolments for Children in Care

Published: October 26, 2023 · Updated: October 26, 2023

The ability to access primary health care is vital for all Aotearoa New Zealanders. This paper provides improved information on enrolments as an update to data that was publicly released in Pepuere 2023. 


Under the National Care Standards, Oranga Tamariki is responsible for ensuring that tamariki in care are enrolled with a Primary Health Organisation (PHO). This is particularly important for tamariki Māori and Pacific children, who already see gaps in access across the healthcare system. Tamariki in care often have particularly complex health needs, so it is important to ensure they have access to health care and are enrolled with a Primary Health Organisation.

Key findings

  • Tamariki in care have similar enrolment rates to tamariki with no care and protection history (around 94% for Māori and 95% for non-Māori for both groups). 
  • These rates are also higher than for tamariki who have previously been in care or who have had lower levels of contact with the care and protection system (around 91% for Māori and 94% for non-Māori, again for both groups). 
  • This analysis will inform the work of the Action Plan and the Independent Children's Monitor as well as assist in our response to queries from the media and external commentators.
  • The analysis was completed in collaboration with Manatū Hauora.