Disparities and disproportionality experienced by tamariki Māori

Published: August 23, 2023 · Updated: August 23, 2023

We have a framework to measure disparity and disproportionality in the care and protection system. This report applies that framework to understand disparities experienced by tamariki Māori.


Measuring disparity and disproportionality is complex and there is no one single or right measure. In 2020, Oranga Tamariki developed a framework for the ongoing measurement of disparity and disproportionality in the care and protection system.

This framework has been applied to better understand and report on disparities experienced by tamariki Māori in the care and protection system.

Key findings

  • Tamariki Māori are consistently more likely to be reported to Oranga Tamariki than non-Māori tamariki.
  • In F2023, 82 of every 1000 tamariki Māori are reported to Oranga Tamariki, compared to 24 non-Māori tamariki.
  • In recent years, tamariki Māori were slightly less likely to enter care following a Family Group Conference than non-Māori, though the overall number of Tamariki Māori entering care was higher than the number of non-Māori children
  • Over the past decade, tamariki Māori accounted for more than half of all children entering care.
  • In the latest year, for every 1000 tamariki Māori, around 2 entered care, compared with fewer than 1 for non-Māori.
  • The overall care population had been increasing over the last decade to F2019, at which point it began to decrease. These changes have been driven by an increase (and subsequent decrease) in the number of tamariki Māori in care.
  • As at 30 Hune 2023, for every 1000 tamariki Māori, 9 were in care, compared with 2 for non-Māori.

Next steps

We will continue to apply this framework going forward as a way to measure and report on disparity and disproportionality in a more systemised way, and this report will be produced and updated annually.