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Two key series of engagement have been held since the Government made some high-level decisions in March 2019 to strengthen the oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system – engagement with Māori individuals and groups, and wider initial engagement with those who work in the sector and those who come into the contact with the Oranga Tamariki System.

Similar feedback and themes came out of both series of engagement, as outlined below, and will help shape this important mahi currently underway.

In mid-2019, the Ministry of Social Development (the Ministry) held a series of 22 hui to talk with Māori about what a strengthened independent oversight system would look like. The Ministry engaged Donna Matahaere-Atariki, Hera Douglas and Terina Moke, as the independent facilitator, writer and co-ordinator respectively, to advise and assist this engagement process with Māori and iwi.

This was the first phase of the work programme regarding policy and legislative proposals agreed by Cabinet in March 2019, with feedback informing and influencing the development of a strengthened oversight system to ensure it better responds to the needs of tamariki, rangatahi and whānau, leading to improved outcomes. 

The report with feedback from the hui can be found here

A summary of the themes to come out of this series of hui can be found here

From late January to mid-March 2020, 19 hui were held around Aotearoa to provide a greater understanding of how the Independent Children’s Monitor, Office of the Children’s Commissioner and Office of the Ombudsman are strengthening independent oversight of the Oranga Tamariki System and what each agencies role is in this. It was a chance to both formally introduce the Monitor as well as share mahi already completed and understand how people want to be engaged in the future.

Download the Regional Hui Information Sheet 2020 (PDF 284KB) 

Thank you for getting involved

The 19 hui saw 525 people, including providers of services, Māori focused organisations, government agencies and children’s professionals, come together to understand more about the important mahi underway, with 190 participants completing a feedback form and 144 expressing interest in being involved in future workshops.

Given the current environment we are all now in with the country in lockdown, we will be in touch separately with those of you who have indicated you would like to be involved in future workshops.


Feedback themes, from both hui and feedback forms, focused on both the current state of the System and where this important mahi needs to go moving forward; in particular, the relevance of te ao Māori, interactions with Oranga Tamariki, funding and support, communication, historic issues, strengthening independent oversight legislation and the Independent Children’s Monitor’s approach.

Below you will find a breakdown, and visual representation, of the key themes.

Content from the hui

Some of you will have seen that we had a graphic artist with us for some hui; these are listed in the order of hui. 

What you told us

Many participants who completed a feedback form noted how good it was to see all three oversight agencies together and to understand what each organisation’s role and function is. They also commented on how helpful it was to further understand the Ombudsman’s Office’s role and function, including the complaints process, understanding what barriers exist and being able to provide people with a voice. For us, it was helpful to receive feedback on how we could improve future hui, including better timekeeping, more time for discussions, and more opportunities for networking and providing feedback.

Thank you again for engaging with us; we will take onboard all the feedback we received in shaping our future mahi.

As mentioned at hui, this is the beginning of our engagement and we look forward to working with those of you who expressed interest in being involved in future mahi. If you haven’t expressed interest and would like to be involved, please email


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