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Opportunity and challenges

While most children and young people in New Zealand experience wellbeing, too many children and young people and their families face social challenges like poverty, inequality, violence, addiction, and poor mental wellbeing that impact them and their future prospects.

Parliamentary support

Solving these often complex and compounding issues requires a widespread and dedicated response. The Government has enacted legislation that requires ongoing political accountability for reducing child poverty and improving child wellbeing. The Legislation places an ongoing focus on children and young people, and ensures the Strategy remains responsive to current and future issues.

Find out more about the legislation that underpins this Strategy

Prioritising the greatest needs first

This Strategy reflects the strong call to urgently reduce inequity of outcomes and improve the wellbeing of those children and young people with the greatest needs.  This includes new policies and initiatives to:

  • Reduce child poverty and mitigate the effects of poverty and socio-economic disadvantage 
  • Improve the wellbeing of  children and young people of interest to Oranga Tamariki and address family and sexual violence
  • Improve the wellbeing of children and young people with greater needs, with an initial focus on learning support and mental wellbeing

Success will mean addressing broader social inequities and determinants of health and wellbeing, including systemic racism and discrimination.

Work already underway across government is targeted at addressing child poverty, family violence, and inadequate housing, and improving early years, learning support and mental wellbeing for children, young people and their families and whānau. This work is captured in the government Programme of Action and will be built on in coming years.

Find out more about how we're prioritising the greatest needs 

New ways of working

Government agencies have collective ownership of, and responsibility for, the implementation of the Strategy.

Improving child and youth wellbeing is too big and complex a job for a single agency. It involves a multitude of portfolio areas including health, social welfare and education, which each hold pieces of the jigsaw.

Making the best choices for current and future generations of young New Zealanders children requires new ways of working, and balancing the social, environmental and economic implications of government decision-making.

Aligning government action with community action has the potential to create the transformative change required for the Strategy to achieve its vision.

Find out more about the opportunities and challenges 


“Young people need [to] feel proud of who they are, have access to quality education, opportunities to do what they love and they need to feel loved and safe.” 

(young person)
Last updated: 
Thursday, 29 August 2019