Are We There Yet? The Journey to Oranga Tamariki the Ministry for Vulnerable Children: An Analysis of the Law Reform Process

61 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2018

See all articles by Emily Devaney

Emily Devaney

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: June 20, 2018

Abstract

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

Devaney, Emily, Are We There Yet? The Journey to Oranga Tamariki the Ministry for Vulnerable Children: An Analysis of the Law Reform Process (June 20, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3200201 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3200201

Emily Devaney (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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