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Communtity Law Manual | Oranga Tamariki / Ministry for Children | How to challenge decisions by Oranga Tamariki or the Family Court

How to challenge decisions by Oranga Tamariki or the Family Court

Challenging decisions or actions by Oranga Tamariki

The Family Court’s role in overseeing Oranga Tamariki

The Family Court plays a supervising role over decisions and actions by Oranga Tamariki. For example, when Oranga Tamariki applies for a care or protection order for a child, Oranga Tamariki has to provide the judge with a clear and specific plan about what will happen and what the goals are. The plan will also state what Oranga Tamariki is expected to do, like providing certain kinds of support.

Complaining to the Ombudsmen about decisions made by Oranga Tamariki

Ombudsmen Act 1975, s 13

The Ombudsmen investigate complaints from members of the public about the decisions or conduct of government bodies and officials.

The Ombudsmen can’t investigate decisions made by Oranga Tamariki about custody (day-to-day care) and access (contact).

But they can investigate other decisions and actions of Oranga Tamariki, such as:

  • the way it investigated a concern about the safety of your child
  • the way it acted in taking your child from you after a Family Court order was made that your child must go into care
  • the standard of service provided by social workers from Oranga Tamariki
  • delays in responding to your letters, or failing to respond to your phone calls
  • Oranga Tamariki not following its own policies and procedures.

(For how to complain to the Ombudsmen, see the chapter “Dealing with government agencies”.)

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