Government Must Pause New Children’s Bill To Allow For Proper Consultation, Says Children’s Organisation


Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is calling on the Government to pause progress on the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill to allow for proper consultation with children, young people and their families.

The proposed Bill, currently before the Select Committee, would replace the Children Commissioner’s position with a board and establish an independent monitor of Oranga Tamariki within the Education Review Office rather than as a standalone entity.

“We are concerned by the process followed for the drafting of this Bill, in particular the lack of consultation with children,” says Associate Professor Mike O’Brien and CPAG’s social security spokesperson.

“Given that a key objective of this Bill is to ‘strengthen advocacy for children’s and young people’s issues’, it is perplexing that children and young people have not been consulted to determine how best the system could be designed to promote their rights and interests.”

CPAG is also questioning the timing of this overhaul of the monitoring and complaints processes for the Oranga Tamariki system, given that the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care has not completed their investigation.

“The new system proposed by the Bill is overly complex for children to navigate and there is a real risk that complaints made by very vulnerable group of families, tamariki and rangatahi may fall through the cracks,” continued O’Brien.

Over the last three decades, successive Children’s Commissioners have played a critical role in championing the rights and interests of children and tamariki in Aotearoa, says CPAG.

“We firmly believe there is value in having a single, independent voice to advocate for all children across a range of issues that impacts them, but also to provide children with a clear ‘champion’ to look to”, says O’Brien.

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“We are calling on the Government to pause progress on the Bill, and to hear the voices of children and the children’s sector before progressing further.”


See Child Poverty Action Group’s submission on the Bill here:


  1. Agree 100% with everything here. Abolishing the Children’s Commissioner and replacing him/her by yet another committee or board is frankly incomprehensible. Bringing in the Education Review wallahs when the education system in New Zealand has been captured by the gender extremists is also very concerning indeed.
    Rushing in when a Royal Commission of Inquiry is still in progress is not just barmy, but is highly suspect. The children of this country have been let down time and time again and it seems to be happening again right now.

  2. “Provide children with a clear ‘champion’ to look to”, is a very important point both practically and psychologically. Kid’s relate to champions – Spider-Man, Superman, Disney characters. Telling kids that a board will represent them is intimidating and confusing. Adults too, are more inclined to listen to an articulate advocate than to a board, especially an over-paid board appointed by government flunkies.

  3. 3 Waters health board reform light rail in Auckland now this change of the Childrens Watchdog it seems this government is pushing through unpopular changes while most of us are distracted with covid. It is a pity they have not spent the last few weeks with sorting out the supply of RATS and increasing ICU beds.

    • Trevor Sennett – Agree. After all the issues with Oranga Tamariki, dumping their independent monitor sends chills up and down my spine. Replacing it with public servant pen pushers, looks more self -protective than child focused. This is another issue where medical professionals are not being listened to, and for no good reason, but the one thing which didn’t need fixing and seems to be doing a good job is being tossed out with the bath water and one has to wonder why.

    • Trevor S. I just checked online, and we do have a Minister for Children in New Zealand, and it’s Kelvin Davis. Navigating my way through all the pc verbiage about child and youth well being, it looks very much as if this current scenario of pushing through changes without consulting with other relevant bodies, goes against the current government’s own recommendations. Davis may not know this, he’ll be being advised by his own officials, but as the policy makers, they should, so it does look as if they’re being rather sneaky.

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