Voluntary information sharing provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act

Published: September 7, 2021

These reports present the final evaluation findings along with the results from interviews and two online surveys about the voluntary information sharing provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.


Synergia was commissioned to provide an independent evaluation of the preparedness for, and the implementation of, the new voluntary information sharing provisions in the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (the new provisions). The evaluation was designed to understand the sector’s awareness and use of the new provisions. An online survey over two timepoints was used to establish an overall picture, and interviews with 32 stakeholders from the sector provided detailed insights into the use and influence on practice of the new provisions.

Key findings

The key insights of the evaluation from surveys and interviews were:

  • The new provisions are still being embedded into practice, and this takes time.
  • There were varying levels of awareness of the new provisions, from people who were aware of the new provisions and using them confidently to people who were not yet aware of them.
  • The multiple legislative changes that came into effect at the same time as the information sharing provisions in the Act led to overload and some confusion which challenged implementing the new provisions.
  • Relationships and trust were important foundations for information sharing practices and could be both a barrier and enabler to information sharing.
  • Some sectors were more engaged than others in information sharing prior to the introduction of the new provisions and have used the new provisions more than others.
  • Many people wanted more training opportunities, sector-specific guidance and case examples to increase their confidence in using the new provisions.
  • The provisions were enabling people to share information with organisations that they had not had previous relationships with.
  • When people understand and confidently use the provisions, they can positively influence information sharing practice.