Are We There Yet? The Journey to Oranga Tamariki the Ministry for Vulnerable Children: An Analysis of the Law Reform Process
62 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2018 Last revised: 5 Jul 2018
Date Written: April 3, 2018
The establishment of Oranga Tamariki, The Ministry for Vulnerable Children was supposed to end the perception that the law protecting vulnerable children and young people was crisis driven. The establishment of a stand-alone Ministry was to stabilise the law and improve outcomes for the most vulnerable. However, the law reform process to implement this change undermined rather than supported this effort. The method of reform, its intrinsic link with government ideology, close connection to previous reforms and the opposition to legislative amendments undermined the foundations the reform sought to lay. This paper suggests that the law reform process could have been better utilised as a vehicle with which to emphasise and accentuate the ultimate aims of the reform and assist in their successful implementation. The paper tracks various tensions in the reform process and suggests that these deficiencies permeate the law that has resulted. As such, the paper suggests the ultimate goal of the reform remains unrealised, not for lack of intention, but due to fundamental flaws in gaining support from key stakeholders. Because of this, the likelihood of future reform is high. The law reform process could have placated rather than enhanced this risk.
Keywords: Oranga Tamariki, Children, Vulnerable Children, Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Child Welfare
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation