Intensive Response for whānau Māori

We and our partners recognise the need to improve the support to whānau who are at risk of having their tamariki Māori taken into care. We believe that with better support, more tamariki and whānau Māori can stay together and thrive.

A new approach

We want to commit to meaningful and effective engagement with Māori. Wherever possible, the best place for a tamaiti is in the safe, loving and stable care of their whānau, hapū or iwi.

Intensive response is being designed in collaboration with iwi, Māori and Pacific organisations and the wider community sector. At the beginning, this involved 4 Oranga Tamariki sites: Christchurch East, Tokoroa, Horowhenua, and Ōtāhuhu.

How we do this depends on the strengths and nature of the communities. So, it’s important we take our time to develop the new services with our partners.

They know what their tamariki need and it’s vital we support them to find and develop the solutions.

How do we do this?

Everyone has a voice, including tamariki, and will influence the design and how it works. During the design and grow phase we will listen to the stories and experiences of local communities to understand what works for them.

Getting the new approach started will be gradual with opportunities at each stage of the process to learn what works best.

The iwi, hapū, Māori, Pacific and community organisations we’re partnering with reflect the whakapapa of the whānau and tamariki and many already have good relationships with them.

We are also working with Mokopuna Ora (our partnership with Waikato-Tainui) to support them to ensure mokopuna remain with their whānau through the design of the intensive response function in Waikato Rural North and Papakura.

The background

Local and international evidence tells us the best support for whānau is provided by multiple agencies and the community. And that there needs to be a more holistic view to recognise all factors that affect people’s lives.

In the 2019 Budget, Cabinet approved $31.6 million over 4 years to establish a new approach for tamariki at risk of harm, and their whānau. Cabinet agreed this should be a phased ‘learn and grow’ model.

Intensive response infographic

Intensive response infographic text description

The infographic shows a roadmap showing the path of the intensive response work.

[Start of roadmap] Whānau that get involved with Oranga Tamariki don't get the support they need.

  • Evidence – Collated local and international evidence on what works for tamariki and whānau.
  • Financial  $31.6m over four years to establish intensive support for children at risk of harm.
  • The best place  The best place for a child is within the safe loving care of their whānau, hapū, iwi or family
  • Intensive Response  Supports whānau and families so tamariki can thrive at home
  • Working together - Oranga Tamariki are working closely with iwi, Māori and pacific organisations and the wider community sector.
  • Approach - The approache involves a number of locations across New Zealand in partnership with local iwi and community.
  • We will listen to stories and experiences of local communities to understand what works
  • Collaboration  Each intensive response model will be a collaborative co-design with our partners and will differ depending on the strengths and nature of the community.
  • Confirmation  We know we are doing things right when more tamariki can stay safe at home with their whānau and family.
  • Next phase  Expansion planning for next locations working alongside local iwi and the community

We are committed to progress [End of roadmap]

Published: December 19, 2019 · Updated: November 15, 2023