Legislative changes that came into force on 1 July 2019 require specific considerations for Māori children and young people.
The Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki (OT) has duties in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations, and ensure policies, practices and services have regard for the principles of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. The Chief Executive also has a duty to ensure that policies and practices have the object of reducing disparities by setting measurable outcomes for Māori children and young people. The Chief Executive is required to report annually on these duties.
Budget 2019 provided funding to:
- expand Kairāranga (specialist Māori roles in sites) to support the active participation of whānau in decisions affecting tamariki who come into the Oranga Tamariki system
- focus on developing strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations to enable these organisations to be actively involved in meeting the needs of Māori children, young people and their whānau.
An interim approach has been agreed for OT to set measurable outcomes for tamariki Māori and to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations.
OT has developed five mana tamaiti objectives, which set out how it will ensure that departmental policies, practices and services have regard to the concepts of mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga in line with section 7AA obligations. Five Quality Assurance Standards have been developed to support the mana tamaiti objectives to be implemented in the design of policies, practices and services.
OT continues to roll out the expansion of kairāranga-ā-whānau roles with 42 positions either filled or currently undergoing recruitment. Ongoing priority will be given to:
- improving practice and ensuring whānau participation in decision making
- enabling community-led responses to prevent contact with the state system
- partnering to enable the Treaty aspirations of Māori.
A Treaty Response Unit has been established in Oranga Tamariki.Strategic partnership agreements have been signed with eight iwi (as at the end of 2020), and an initial set of nine measures has been identified for mana tamaiti.