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Submissions are open on the second piece of legislation to reform child care and protection services

December 16, 2016 at 10:55 AM

*From the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse*

The second piece of legislation to reform child care and protection services has been referred to the Social Services select committee. Submissions on this bill close on Wednesday 15 February 2017.

The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Billamends the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 (CYPF Act) and the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. It also makes minor amendments to the Education Act 1989, Social Security Act 1964 and the Income Tax Act 2007.

The Beehive release provides a brief overview of the proposed changes included in the bill:

  • "Allowing young people to remain in care or return to care up until the age of 21, with transition support and advice available up to 25
  • Enabling the establishment of an information sharing framework to keep vulnerable children and young people safe from harm
  • Extending the youth justice system to include lower-risk 17 year olds

The Bill also includes changes to the purposes and principles of the Act to:

  • place children and young people at the centre of decision-making and consider them within the context of their families, whanau, hapu and iwi and broader networks and communities
  • support families, whanau, hapu, iwi and caregivers and enable them to provide a safe, stable and loving home
  • strengthen the relationships between children and young people and their family, whanau, hapu, and iwi, especially between siblings.

When making decisions under the CYPF Act, decision-makers will need to consider:

  • The family, whanau and usual caregiver are strengthened and supported to enable them to care for the child or young person
  • Wherever possible the relationship between the child or young person and their family, whanau and usual caregiver is respected, supported and strengthened, and
  • The family, whanau, hapu, iwi and usual caregiver have a voice and a role in decisions made about the child or young person."
The Beehive release also states:

"There are specific measures to recognise and reflect a commitment to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, including a requirement for the Ministry to develop strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations, which is already underway."

The proposals in this latest round of reforms have been criticised for deprioritising placing Māori children in care with whānau, hapū and iwi. The Māori Women's Welfare League (MWWL) has filed a claim in the Waitangi Tribunal challenging the policy changes.

more detailed summary of bill's proposed changes and links to cabinet papers is available on the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website.

For information about the reforms, see the MSD website on the Investing in Children Programme.

The proposed changes also include a proposal to extend the youth justice system to include 17 year-olds.

The first bill implementing the Government's reforms, the Children, Young Persons and Their Families (Advocacy, Workforce and Age Settings) Amendment Bill, has passed its third reading in Parliament and received Royal Assent.

Responses to the bill

Responses to the bill are listed under "Media" below. More will be added as they are published so please check back.

The previous NZFVC stories have more information about the reforms


State the baby snatcher under new rules, Waatea News, 15.12.2016

Privacy Commissioner Comments on Oranga Tamariki Bill, Press release, Office of the Privacy Commissioner, 14.12.2016

CYF overhaul risks a 'stolen generation' of Maori children, NZ Herald, 14.12.2016

Māori Party oppose placing at risk kids outside whānau, RNZ, 14.12.2016

Second major care reform Bill passes first reading, Press release, New Zealand Government, 13.12.2016

CYF reforms ignore evidence, and children, Press release, New Zealand Labour Party, 13.12.2016

Māori Party opposes Oranga Tamariki legislation 1st reading, Press release, Māori Party, Scoop, 13.12.2016

A Safe Haven for Children in State Care, Press release, New Zealand Association Of Psychotherapists, Scoop, 12.12.2016

Loss of whakapapa link alarms psychotherapists, Waatea News, 12.12.2016

Govt should delay introduction of second CYF Bil, Press release, Green Party, Scoop, 01.12.2016

Category: Policy and Legislation