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Source: New Zealand Parliament

The Social Services and Community Committee is considering whether to amend the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill to expand the Ombudsman’s ability to investigate complaints to do with the Oranga Tamariki system.

We invite the public to comment on the proposals set out below when submitting on the bill.

At present, the Ombudsman’s oversight of the Oranga Tamariki system is limited to investigating and making recommendations to Oranga Tamariki and the public service agencies or organisations named in schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act 1975. Because custody or care providers, community service providers, and other service providers contracted by Oranga Tamariki are not named in schedule 1 of the Ombudsmen Act, the Ombudsmen cannot investigate these providers. Currently, if a member of the public has concerns about one of these providers, they can make a complaint to Oranga Tamariki directly. The Ombudsman can investigate Oranga Tamariki’s handling of these complaints under his existing powers.  

The Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill would empower the Ombudsman to investigate and make recommendations to providers who hold custody, or have responsibility for overseeing care arrangements, under section 396 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (the Act). Oranga Tamariki and custody or care providers would continue to have the ability to investigate complaints that are made to them directly. In addition to expanding the Ombudsman’s complaints and investigations jurisdiction to custody or care providers, we are considering the following proposals:

  • Broadening the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to investigate complaints about people, bodies, or organisations who provide community services to children and young people in the Oranga Tamariki system under section 403 of the Act. About 500 providers are approved under section 403 of the Act.
  • Broadening the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to investigate complaints about individuals and organisations that provide other services under the Act (for example tutors or school holiday programs) in addition to section 403 community service providers. Thousands of individuals and organisations fall into this category.
  • Making improvements to the current model where the Ombudsman can investigate Oranga Tamariki’s handling of complaints about section 403 community service providers and other service providers.

    Tell the Social Services and Community Committee what you think

    Make a submission on the bill by 11.59pm on Wednesday, 26 January 2022.

    For more details about the bill:

    Read the bills digest

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