New partnership renews push for zero pre-schooler drownings by 2020

Source: New Zealand Plunket Society

A new partnership between YMCA Auckland, Plunket and Auckland Council is increasing the push for zero drownings in the under-five age group across Auckland.

The partnership, which takes effect from Monday 29th April 2019, is being driven by YMCA Auckland and will see the not-for-profit’s Swim School programme run out of eight Auckland pools rather than the current four.

In 2017, seven children under the age of five drowned in New Zealand, that’s two more than in 2016. Of those seven fatalities, five occurred in home pools. In that same year, a further 26 children were hospitalised as a result of near fatal drowning incidents.

“By adding four Auckland Council run pools to the list, we’ll have all of Auckland covered. By increasing our reach, we give more Auckland pre-schoolers access to potentially life-saving knowledge and education,” says Karla McCaughan, YMCA Auckland Swim School Quality Services Manager.

Plunket’s Northern Regional Operations Manager Sam Ferreira says the new partnership is a fantastic opportunity to work towards zero drownings for Auckland pre-schoolers.

“Plunket works every day to build the confidence and knowledge of families and whānau, and we’re delighted to be able to provide half price swimming lessons to our Auckland families and support their confidence around water safety.”

Since 2017, YMCA Auckland and Plunket have worked together to deliver water safety sessions to 17,500 pre-schoolers via the four Auckland Council pools run by YMCA Auckland: Lagoon Pool and Leisure Centre, Onehunga War Memorial Pool, Cameron Pool and Leisure Centre, and Glen Innes Pool and Leisure Centre.

The four Auckland Council owned and operated pools being added to the list are: Tepid Baths, West Wave Pool and Leisure Centre, Albany Stadium Pool, and Manurewa Pool and Leisure Centre.

Auckland pre-schoolers aged three months to five years will have access to half price swimming and water safety lessons at all eight sites.

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Council’s Environment and Community Committee, says working with organisations like Plunket and YMCA is a great example of Auckland Council partnering with the non-profit sector to support community initiatives.

“Being safe around water – whether it’s a pool, at the beach or river – is essential to living an active life in Auckland. This partnership will equip our young people with the knowledge and skills to be safe and survive in and around water.”

Auckland Council’s Head of Active Recreation Rob McGee says jumping on board the initiative was a no-brainer.

“This partnership with YMCA and Plunket gives us a great opportunity to reach more young Aucklanders and their families to ensure the whole whānau knows how to swim and are educated on basic water safety skills.”

Another five council pools will be brought into the fold over the next three years.

“I’ll be training and educating all Auckland Council pool staff to ensure our water safety product is consistent across all eight sites. If a family goes to Cameron Pool or any other site they’ll get the same level of service and education. Consistency is key,” says McCaughan.

“Together we are helping shape a more water-safety aware Auckland.”

0 Comments Posted by Plunket on 8 April 2019


Pukeko Pictures’ Kiddets Partners with Plunket

Source: New Zealand Plunket Society

Pukeko Pictures’ preschool brand, Kiddets has partnered with Plunket, New Zealand’s largest provider of free development, health and wellbeing support services for children under five.

The partnership will see Kiddets and Plunket branded collateral available to Plunket’s 530 locations across New Zealand, helping to make children’s Well Child checks even more enjoyable.

“We are really excited to be working with Pukeko Pictures again and the Kiddets is a great platform to get some important health messages out to children and whānau,” said Plunket’s Head of Partnerships and Brand, Carolyn Mettrick.

A specially created Kiddets animation will also be available in some Plunket locations, as well as via the Kiddets and Plunket websites.

“We are thrilled to be once again partnering with Plunket, who work closely with so many families across New Zealand.  We can’t wait to see Patches, Dapper, Bounce, Stripes and Luna land in Plunket clinics and help make these vital checks an even more relaxed experience for little ones,” said Pukeko Pictures’ Chief Creative Officer, Executive Producer and Company Director, Martin Baynton.

“Children learn together through play and the Kiddets exemplify this with each episode focusing on a special interest such as leadership, health and safety, mechanics, science and the arts,” said Ms Mettrick.

Posters, decals and other material will be on display in Plunket centres from April, along with special online promotions and giveaways.

A second season of 52 episodes of Pukeko Pictures’ and Hengxin Shambala Kids’ Kiddets was recently greenlit for production.  It was also confirmed that Hengxin Shambala Kids has come on board as the master toy partner for the Chinese market where a licensing program is beginning to roll-out, including Kiddetsland theme parks and a stage show.

Kiddets, a sister series to Pukeko Pictures’ The WotWots, is co-produced by Pukeko Pictures and Hengxin Shambala Kids and is the first official children’s television co-production between New Zealand and China.  It airs on ABC KIDS in Australia, TVNZ’s TV2, HEI HEI and On Demand services in New Zealand and CCTV Children’s Channel in China, where it is also available on VOD-platform iQiyi.  The series is distributed internationally by CAKE.    

Aimed at new and existing fans of The WotWots, Kiddets offers a broader audience appeal including older preschool children with each episode demonstrating the positive values of teamwork and the building blocks of true and enduring friendship.  Kiddets has been created by The WotWots’ Creator, Martin Baynton and will be Executive Produced by Richard Taylor and Clive Spink.  CAKE handles worldwide distribution rights excluding Australia, New Zealand and Greater China to Kiddets and also extends to North American and European rights (for series 2) of the The WotWots.

Kiddets expands upon The WotWots franchise with brand new adventures and sees the introduction of five new WotWot characters, Patches, Dapper, Bounce, Stripes and Luna – young space cadets in training at a play school space academy on planet WotWot.  Under the watchful eye of SpottyWot and DottyWot who are based on planet Earth, Patches, Dapper, Bounce, Stripes and Luna learn all the skills they need to embark on a mission to a new world.

0 Comments Posted by Plunket on 5 April 2019


Dancing for Plunket

Source: New Zealand Plunket Society

This week Dancing with the Stars NZ announced that Jude Dobson, beloved 90s TV personality and passionate advocate for children and families, will be appearing on this season’s show – and Plunket is her charity of choice! 

“We are really excited that Jude has chosen to support Plunket,” said Amanda Malu, Plunket Chief Executive.

“Jude has a long association with Plunket. Following her high-profile career as a television presenter, Jude established Raising Children Media to support parents in the child-raising journey with video content.” 

A number of the videos on Raising Children’s website have been developed with Plunket’s input and Jude worked closely with Plunket’s clinical advisors.  

Dancing with the Stars will screen for the first time this season on Sunday 14 April at 7pm on THREE. This year it will feature 12 Kiwi stars who will dance their hearts out on live television, with proceeds from the public votes going to charities like Plunket.


0 Comments Posted by Plunket on 4 April 2019


Home truths about the tricky In-Work Tax Credit

Source: Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

There I was, Sole Parent Beneficiary, lolling on the couch with my low-quality beverage, savouring the luxury of my state-funded holiday, when I found out that simply by securing four to six extra hours of paid work, I could increase my family’s weekly income by $72 (on top of the income earned), through the In-Work Tax Credit (IWTC). Well, I was instantly jolted from my listless apathy into that fixed-term, casual job compatible with my current working and childcare arrangements that I’d been avoiding for weeks!

Obviously, that didn’t happen. I’m not sure which theoretical model is used to legitimise the policy practice of incentivising work through offering financial rewards, but I’m picking it involves rats and switches. Yet the idea that work has to be made more financially attractive is important, because it’s the argument used to justify the existing disadvantage between the children of working parents and kids of beneficiaries. In 2008 the Human Rights Review Tribunal found the IWTC discriminatory but it was justified then – and again in the 2013 High Court Appeal – because of the “legitimate objective” of incentivising beneficiaries into work. That disadvantage manifests as material hardship for some of our most vulnerable population. And that’s somehow ok, because it’s the government’s job to entice parents into paid work by making it more financially rewarding? I can’t see there being any arguments that could justify children’s material hardship, but I don’t believe that the IWTC is an incentive at all, let alone one that legitimates discrimination.

It’s a bit silly

The premise that the lure of additional income suffices as motivation is, well, exactly the same premise you use when you’re looking for a job. As a beneficiary, I was actively seeking work. As far as incentives go, the IWTC is a bit like extra fries.

Is it an incentive or a supplement?

If the income from work is not in itself an incentive, and needs to be topped up by the government to make it worth the effort, then that raises another question. If work isn’t enough on its own, then isn’t the IWTC functioning as a tool to ensure income adequacy? I hope not, because if it is, that means we’re discriminating against children whose income is already below an adequate level.

There’s a counter-incentive at work

If the primary justification for IRD rewarding families in paid work is that it creates an incentive then what is WINZ up to? If IRD is dangling this tantalising treat before your eyes, then WINZ must be hovering nearby like the waiter who clears your glass before you’ve finished your drink. When you’re on a benefit the more you work, the less your payments are. If extra financial reward for work is considered an incentive by IRD, then isn’t WINZ’s abatement scheme a deterrent? Time for a game of incentive-off. Let’s say you’re offered 20 hours a week of ongoing casual work. From a purely motivational point of view, you could take it, so IRD will reward you with fries and a few hours of tinny Split Enz on hold. But there’s a catch. You need to come off the benefit to receive the IWTC. That means that in the weeks you don’t get 20 hours of work (like when your kids are sick) there’s no help from IRD or WINZ support. The other option is just to have your work-free WINZ burger, saving you the scramble to find 20 hours of casual, subsidised childcare at short notice (which, by the way, you’re not eligible for until you’ve been guaranteed the work that you can’t commit to until you arrange the childcare).

There’s an assumption that you don’t want to work (or don’t work already)

One of the problems with the incentive-scenario above is that the main difference between those two weeks was the availability of work. The incentive (carrot/stick) rationale sits within the weary old narrative of “welfare dependency” that National has been doling out since the 1990s. It’s a tenacious story, perhaps because it so neatly packages complex, systemic factors into a simple cause and effect story, ie. lazy people need to get off the dole. It justifies sanctions and incentives to correct individual outcomes. There is no justification, or evidence, to support the assumption that every person receiving welfare support will continue to do so. Yet the incentive is applied across the board. The assumption was that I needed an incentive. I didn’t. I needed a job. In the meantime, my kids missed out, even though they were in no way responsible for a local shortage in permanent positions.

It’s simplistic

There are many complex, intersecting factors that contribute to a need for temporary or long-term income support – disability, childcare, transportation infrastructure, change in relationship status, local labour markets, mental health, addiction, early offending, geography, education, specialised careers. I had casual part-time work as a disability support worker with an awesome little girl who I had been supporting for four years. I was looking for permanent work but I’d just come off the Student Allowance, it was the summer school holidays (I have two kids with a shared care arrangement) and there wasn’t a single role related to my recent qualification for months.

The criteria for the incentive is hard to meet

Even if finding another part-time, flexible role had been possible, it would have been too much to risk coming off the benefit for casual work, which might fall below the 20-hour threshold.

All those extenuating factors that come into play when you’re a beneficiary with casual, part-time employment – which happens to be pretty much the only work you’ll be lucky enough to get while you are actively seeking permanent employment, or have children in your care – make it hard to continually meet that 20 hour per week target. Casual work is by its nature unreliable, and coming off the benefit leaves you without a safety net in the weeks that you can’t work 20 hours. It only took until March for me to find permanent part-time employment. I then had the choice of staying on the benefit, or moving off it to then qualify for the IWTC, which I did. It wasn’t an incentive – I already had the job – it was a bonus that came with a job that had regular hours.

It reinforces the nuclear family model

If I’d still been married, I would have received the IWTC, because between the two parents, we would have made it to the 30 hour threshold. Instead the kids’ dad received it, because he worked 20 hours, and I didn’t, because I couldn’t.

We don’t really know if it works

The “success” of the IWTC hasn’t been measured qualitatively, by any observed change in people’s willingness to take the work-bait, but instead quantitatively, by how many people left the benefit for paid work.

The argument is weak, the evidence is poor, and yet here we are, busily stocking the supply-end of the labour market while penalising the kids whose parents can’t find work right now. Our welfare should be based on justice, fairness, equality. It isn’t, as long as we have the discriminatory policy of the IWTC. We need to change this. It’s not the kids’ fault.


New Child Poverty statistics will provide a sound baseline for reduction targets

Source: Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is pleased to see Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) has been able to produce some sound baselines against which the Government can measure its progress in reducing Child Poverty.  ​

As CPAG has noted previously, the 2018 Household Economic Survey (HES) data was too limited a sample, and had other problems which has meant the Ministry of Social Development has not had confidence in the reported Child Poverty figures for the past two years. The new data has been compiled from a combination of the Household Economic Survey (HES) and administrative data (Integrated Data Infrastructure – IDI).

While this overcomes some of the problems it still needs to be recognised that the data is likely to underestimate the problem.

“The data based on the Household Economic Survey only captures those households who have a fixed address,” [1] says Associate Professor Susan St John, CPAG’s Economics spokesperson.

“The depth of the problem may be better understood if it incorporated more information about transient families who have been without a secure home.”

The first primary measure in the Child Poverty Reduction Act is the number of children living in households that have 50% of the equivalised median household income before housing costs (BHC). The new data show that 183,000 or 16.5% of all children live in households under this poverty line.

The second primary measure in the Act is the 50% After Housing Costs (AHC) fixed line measure which takes into consideration the huge impact housing costs have on low-income households. Using this measure, 254,000 children – nearly one-fifth of all children in Aotearoa – live in poverty.

Using the supplementary measures in the Act, 30% of all children lived in households that have less than 60% of the AHC equivalised median income, a total of 341,000 children. “Most worrying is that over half of these children – 174,000 – are living in very low-income situations, with household income falling below the 40% AHC line,” says St John.

The new statistics will provide the baseline for measuring changes over the next ten years that will test whether the Government’s Child Poverty Reduction targets are met. The targets include reducing the proportion of children in low income households (using the 50% BHC measure) from 16% of all children to 5%, reducing the number of children living with income under the 50% AHC measure from 23% to 10%, and those living in material hardship from 13% to 7%.

“The baseline poverty data does not include the impact of the Families Package implemented last year, as it is based on data collected from July 2017 to June 2018. The survey now in the field for 2018-19 will pick up some of the effects of increased spending on families and that will be reported on later this year. The full impact of the package won’t be clear until later in 2020,” says St John.  

“We urge the Government not to wait but to look more broadly at what the data is telling us now. Children living under the 40% AHC poverty line are likely to be living in families earning very low incomes from paid work or whose primary income is from a welfare benefit. These children are not helped nearly enough by the Families Package.”

CPAG reported on the impact of the Families Package and whether it would be sufficient to lift the worst-off children out of poverty in a 2018 paper.

“Because we know that the Families Package won’t lift the children under the 40% line up far enough, a broad range of other welfare changes is needed to help them, and we are looking to the Welfare Expert Advisory Group for their recommendations to improve these children’s lives,” says St John.

“We need an urgent response for these children and the opportunity to make their lives better is now.”


[1]  The target population for the HES is New Zealand resident private households living in permanent dwellings. This means, for example, that those in institutions and those in non-permanent dwellings are not included. (


40,000+ Sign Petition Calling For End of School-Based Gender Indoctrination

Source: Family First

Media Release 2 April 2019 
Family First NZ is welcoming a petition which is being presented to Parliament today calling for an end to gender ideology indoctrination in primary and secondary schools.

The petition from mother and registered teacher Helen Houghton asks “That the House of Representatives urge the Ministry of Education to remove learning intentions for teaching gender diversity in the sexuality education guide and to remove the gender diversity teaching resources on the Te Kete Ipurangi website.” It has been signed by more than 40,000 people.

“This is a timely and significant petition. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned with how misguided school policies (including the school sex education curriculum and programmes such as InsideOut and Mates and Dates) might encourage their children to identify as girls when they are boys, and vice versa, and might result in prolonged difficulties. Schools are being pressured in to accepting gender ideology by groups such as the Human Rights Commission, Rainbow Youth and the Ministry of Education. These indoctrination programmes are simply confusing and stressing our children, and it’s starting to show,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“What children really need is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues, and appropriate support for parents – but definitely not wide-spread gender confusion and indoctrination which denies biological reality,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s time that the Education and Health Ministries placed priority on scientific evidence and sound medical practice, rather than bowing to ideology and special interest groups pushing a radical agenda.”

Recent polling by Curia Market Research found stronger support for children not to be taught that their gender can changed. 54% said children should not be taught this, 35% said they should, and a further 11% were unsure or refused to say.

“What is most disturbing is that our state education system is pushing gender ideology and assuming that children as young as five and six have the cognitive ability and maturity to somehow know that their biological sex is separate to their gender identity – a completely non-scientific construct,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“When advocacy groups and the Education Ministry are encouraging children to turn up to school confused about their gender and unsure whether to use the boys or girls toilet, it’s a recipe for disaster and confusion for all our children,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First released a report last year by an Australian paediatrician which sent a strong warning to New Zealand that allowing children to choose their gender has no scientific evidence in medical literature to support the massive interventions of the medical pathway, and that the most vulnerable of children will be at particular risk. The reportChildren Transitioning: Childhood gender dysphoria – A paediatrician’s warning to New Zealand” was written by Professor John Whitehall who is Foundation Chair and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Sydney.

Dr Whitehall says that such a massive intervention into the minds and bodies of children could be expected to be based on a concrete body of scientific experimentation but, astonishingly, that is not the case. There is no biological basis to the confusion over gender: it has the hallmarks of a psychological fad, fanned by an uncritical, sensationalist media, given direction by private websites and even government funded programmes of ‘education’.

“Sadly, the most vulnerable of children appear to be at particular risk: numerous reviews reveal the majority of children confused about their gender also suffer from diagnosed mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Proponents of the medical pathway declare it is necessary to prevent suicide but, again, there is no evidence that gender dysphoria in children, per se, is associated with a higher risk of suicide. The accompanying mental and family disorders, however, are known to be associated with self-harm and, therefore, an affected child and family deserves close attention and compassion. Suicide may be prevented by compassionate ‘watchful waiting’ for the natural effects of puberty to orientate the child in the direction of its chromosomes, while applying standard therapy to the associated mental disorder,” says Dr Whitehall.

“There is also no scientific evidence in medical literature to support the massive interventions of the medical pathway. To the contrary, there are multiple expressions of the need for evidence, and lamentations about its lack. Society and governments are being led by so-called ‘expert opinion’. The medical pathway is based only on ideology, and claims of ‘success’ reflect beliefs, not science. Even worse, these beliefs are not negotiable: they have become coercive.”

READ the full Report


Overwhelming Majority Tell MPs To Kill The Euthanasia Bill

Source: Family First

Media Release 31 March 2019 
Family First NZ, a member of the Care Alliance which has analysed the almost-39,000 submissions made regarding David Seymour’s assisted suicide bill, says that there is overwhelming opposition to the bill being considered by Parliament and that MPs should vote against the bill at 2nd Reading.

The just-released report provides an analysis of 38,707 written submissions made to the Justice Select Committee, each of which was read by volunteers of the Care Alliance. They say that the submissions “represent the views and stories of a large, diverse and thoughtful cross-section of all New Zealanders; young and old (aged 8–94), different ethnicities (Maori, New Zealand European, Pasifika, Asian), different occupations and walks of life, religious and non-religious, conceptual and experiential. In short, the submissions paint a heart-felt and deeply human picture of the views held by many New Zealanders who have considered the implications of legalising euthanasia and assisted suicide, and had sufficient strength of feeling to write in and make their views known.”

The analysis reveals the following:

  • Overall, 91.8% were opposed to the Bill
  • 93.5% of submissions received from doctors, nurses and other health care staff were opposed
  • 90.6% of organisations which submitted were opposed
  • 90.5% of submissions made no reference at all to religious arguments
  • all submissions made by churches were opposed, including a Buddhist group and a Muslim charitable organisation supported by 13 other Muslim welfare groups and organisations within NZ

“Assisted suicide is not a simple yes / no answer. Those who have taken time to consider the consequences and implications of assisted suicide quickly realise its major dangers – especially to the vulnerable, elderly and disabled. This nuance is difficult to capture with a simple yes / no phone survey, sometimes with leading questions,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“ACT MP David Seymour’s significant backdowns on his assisted suicide bill last year indicate just how weak and flawed the bill is. The backdowns are certainly in contrast to his earlier attacks on our justified concerns, including his statements that There’s just so much scaremongering that doesn’t stand up to evidence and One of the biggest obstacles are MPs who are not in touch with their electorates…and also MPs who may have been coloured by some of the scare-mongering from the other side. There was never any ‘scaremongering’. There was – and continues to be – opposition to this bill based on credible research internationally in jurisdictions that have euthanasia available, and from medical professionals in New Zealand who know the effect such a law would have on their work and on society.”

“(The Euthanasia Bill) is a political stunt that will give profile to David Seymour”- Dr David Clark – Minister of Health (June 2017)

The key arguments advanced by submitters opposed to the Bill fell into six main categories:

  1. Implementing the Bill would lead to multiple adverse societal impacts on vulnerable people including the terminally ill.
  2. Experience in the few overseas jurisdictions that have legalised assisted suicide and euthanasia is not reassuring, and it inevitably leads to broadened eligibility criteria.
  3. State-approval through legalisation sends a powerful message that assisted suicide and euthanasia are socially acceptable, undermining suicide prevention efforts.
  4. Ending patient lives is not a part of healthcare, medical treatment or what doctors are trained to do, and it will erode doctor-patient relationships and trust.
  5. Terminating a life through administering lethal drugs is contrary to a medical ethics tradition that can be traced back to the Hippocratic Oath in Greek times.
  6. Palliative care properly implemented and resourced adequately relieves suffering and demonstrates true compassion without loss of hope.

“Even if the bill was limited to just the terminally ill, some people will be euthanised on account of a disease they thought they had but did not. Prognosis is an uncertain procedure. Many people know or have heard of a person who, having been given a pessimistic prognosis, has lived for many years to tell the tale. There will be those who decide for euthanasia on the basis of an unduly pessimistic prognosis. There is also concrete evidence from those countries which have authorised euthanasia that the availability and application of euthanasia expands to situations never initially envisaged as indications for it.”

“The promotion of assisted suicide is a message that will be heard not just by those with a terminal illness but also by anyone tempted to think he or she can no longer cope with their suffering – whatever the nature of that suffering. This is the real risk to young and to vulnerable people, the disabled and the elderly people if NZ follows the path of promoting – and allowing – assisted suicide.”


Dedicated service for caregivers

Source: Ministry for Children

Dedicated service for caregivers | Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children

We now have 11 regionally based Care Teams whose sole focus is finding and supporting loving caregivers for tamariki and rangatahi. 

Published on
29 Mar 2019

Our new Caregiver Recruitment and Support Service is up and running
Sometimes it’s not possible for children to remain safely at home with their birth family. When this is the case, we’re committed to finding them a safe, stable, loving home with a caregiving family.
To support this mahi, we’ve set up a new and improved Caregiver Recruitment and Support Service. We now have 11 regionally based Care Teams whose sole focus is finding and supporting loving caregivers for tamariki and rangatahi.

We’ve listened to tamariki
Young people have told us they want to live in safe, stable, family environments with caregivers they know and who make them feel they belong. We need to find and support the right caregivers who can meet their needs and aspirations, and support the development of their personal and cultural identity.
Our new Care Teams will focus their efforts on finding and supporting caregivers from within a child’s extended family, whānau, hapū or iwi as a first priority. If that’s not possible, they’ll find a caregiving family that can best meet their needs.
Tamariki Māori are disproportionately represented in care, and we’re shifting the way we work by enabling our iwi partners to be responsible for meeting the needs and aspirations of tamariki Māori. To support this, our Care Teams will work closely with our iwi partners and kaupapa Māori providers to find and support caregivers from the child’s whānau, hapū or iwi.

We’ve listened to our caregivers
Caregivers have told us we need to provide better support throughout their caregiving journey. We’re committed to improving their experience with us; from when they first show an interest in becoming a caregiver, right through to their on-going training and support.
Our Care Teams will work closely with our caregivers to make sure their needs are met. This will include an assessment of their needs and a tailored support plan. The teams will also make sure our caregivers understand what the National Care Standards and our new Transition Support Service mean for them and the tamariki in their care.
Much of this work is already underway, and last month we sent a Caregiver Satisfaction Survey to around 4000 of our caregivers to collect current data on how we’re doing and what we need to do better.
Over the coming months we’ll be sharing more information about the changes we’re making and what they mean for tamariki and their caregivers. 


Gráinne’s update – March 2019

Source: Ministry for Children

Gráinne’s update – March 2019 | Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children

Chief Executive Gráinne Moss reflects on the month that’s been, and talks about the Oranga Tamariki response to the tragedy in Christchurch on March 15.

Published on
29 Mar 2019

Chief Executive updates

Reflecting on this month

Across the country we’ve all been trying to make sense of the tragic events that occurred in Christchurch this month.
There’s continued shock and sadness, but also great determination to keep going day-to-day in circumstances far from normal.
For Oranga Tamariki the priority has been to support children, young people, caregivers and staff affected.

Supporting our people
Following the attack we contacted all caregivers in Canterbury with children in care to make sure they were safe, and reached out to parents to pass this info on.
We checked in with young people living independently, and also supported three unaccompanied children; thankfully these children are now with family.
We are all affected in some way by these events. At this difficult time let’s keep talking openly, supporting each other and focusing wherever possible on aroha.
We’ve published some advice about talking to kids after a traumatic event, which is useful for anyone caring for tamariki.

Dedicated service for caregivers
Our new Caregiver Recruitment and Support Service is up and running
Read the story

Recognising caregivers
During 3-9 March it was great to see Aotearoa celebrate Foster Care Awareness week, recognising the thousands of caregivers up and down the country are making a positive difference for tamariki every day.
We’re committed to showing all our caregivers how much we value them by putting a range of new support systems in place that meet their needs.

Changes a priority
Also this month, we released our first data from the Safety of Children in Care Unit regarding findings of harm to children in care. The reports contain important insights which show us that the changes we’re making, around how we assess children and young people’s safety in care, are essential.
April 1 marks two years into our journey as Oranga Tamariki, and our focus remains on preparing for change enabled by the new legislation coming into force in July. This will be a time of real progress as we’re empowered to provide a range of new support services to do better for tamariki and whānau.
Ngā mihi nui, arohanui
Gráinne Moss

Safety of Children in Care
New data is available on our website
Read the reports


Care Standards give tamariki in care a voice

Source: Ministry for Children

Care Standards give tamariki in care a voice | Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children

Part 4 of the National Care Standards is about supporting children and young people to express their views and contribute to their care experience.

Published on
28 Mar 2019

Giving tamariki a voice

Under Part 4, every child and young person in care needs to receive child-friendly information about the regulations, and be supported to speak up or make a complaint if they’re not getting the level of care they’re entitled to. We also need to provide a way for them to capture the important things that are happening in their lives, and make sure they can easily take their belongings with them and keep them safe.

Child-friendly resources for children and young people
The National Care Standards include a child-friendly statement of rights, and we’re using this content to develop resources for children and young people in care so that they understand what they’re entitled to under the regulations. These resources will be available in a range of languages and be accessible for children and young people with disabilities. We’ll also create versions for different ages and learning stages.
In April we’re talking to children and young people to make sure they have a say in what these resources look like. We’re also working with our Voices for Children team and an organisation called Talking Trouble who are experts at communicating effectively with young people.

Capturing life events and taking care of their belongings
We’re developing a life events/story book solution so that tamariki and rangatahi can capture and have easy access to the important things happening in their lives while they’re in care, such as photos, school reports and art work. We’re also working on a storage solution so that children and young people in care can easily take their belongings with them wherever they go and keep them safe.

Sharing resources with our partners
We’ll be sharing these resources with our partners to ensure all children and young people in care can access them. We’ll be in touch with our Care Partners about this over the coming months as this work progresses.

Find out more
The National Care Standards set out the standard of care every child and young person can expect when they’re in care, and the support caregivers can expect to receive when they open their hearts and homes to tamariki. They come into effect on 1 July 2019.
They cover a range of things that are really important for young people in care, like supporting them to express their views and develop a life plan, keeping them connected to their family and whānau, giving them opportunities to participate in their culture, and ensuring their education, health and recreation needs are met.