How we get involved

How we support whānau

Where possible we try to keep families together. Taking children into care is a last resort. We are working more and more with iwi and communities to support at-risk children to stay with their parents. Use the tabs to find out how we do this. 

Tamariki Māori

We are committed to ensuring tamariki Māori thrive under the protection of whānau, hapū and iwi. Making decisions with whānau, hapū, iwi and our partners as well as providing more support for tamariki and whānau to prevent entry into our care system are some of the ways we’ll deliver on this commitment. It’s part of the system change that we are seeking to achieve through new legislative amendments such as Section 7AA.

Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act requires us to improve outcomes for tamariki Māori. We can’t do this alone. Iwi, Māori organisations and all our partners who provide services to tamariki Māori and their whānau play a critical role in our work.

Progress includes:

Reducing entry into care
  • 2019 saw the smallest number of tamariki Māori coming into care since 2004.
  • 27% fewer tamariki Māori coming into care since 2010.
  • A reduction in the number of Māori babies (0 to 3 months) being taken into care over the last two years, turning around a decade-long trend of increasing state care for Māori babies.
  • We're supporting the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency and other iwi and Māori organisations to co-design a range of potential early intervention support for whānau, based on Whānau Ora methodologies.
Whānau, hapū and iwi care 
  • 82% of Māori children and young people placed with caregivers are being looked after by their own whānau or Māori caregivers.
  • Around 68% of tamariki Māori in our care have whakapapa connections to iwi we have a relationship with.
  • We have partnered with seven iwi and Māori organisations to establish Whānau Care and are about to engage with a further six organisations to design their own models of care for their tamariki and whānau.
Enabling responsive services
  • Around 24% of our partner funding goes to iwi and Māori organisations, around 82 million dollars in 2020.
  • There has been a 7% increase in Māori social workers since July 2019. 
  • We've established 38 kairaranga ā-whānau positions. Kairaranga use a tikanga Māori approach to engage and support whānau.
    Find out more about kairaranga ā-whānau
siblings on trampoline
Real-life example

Te Rūnanga o Ng ā i Tahu have worked alongside our Christchurch East site to ensure that all tamariki Māori who need a placement and who whakapapa to Ngāi Tahu are cared for by Ngāi Tahu whānau. As a result, there are no known Ngāi Tahu tamariki Māori being cared for by non-Ngāi Tahu whānau.

The Blenheim site has one of the lowest numbers of tamariki Māori in care across the country and that has been consistent for the last three years. What's helped keep tamariki Māori within whānau, hapū and iwi are the partnerships the site has with seven iwi, and the Māori Women’s Welfare League. Other contributing factors are the Māori model of care that has been designed and developed in partnership with the iwi and the Māori Women’s Welfare League Advisory Board, plus specialist Māori roles at the site.