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Communtity Law Manual | Oranga Tamariki / Ministry for Children | If Oranga Tamariki deals with you outside the court system

If Oranga Tamariki deals with you outside the court system


This section explains about the different steps Oranga Tamariki might take that don’t involve the more serious option of going to the Family Court to get care or Protection Orders, like a custody order.

The first three options may be used when Oranga Tamariki doesn’t think your child needs care or protection but thinks there are issues that need to be addressed or that the family or whānau needs some support:

  • Family/whānau agreements – A meeting or hui might be held to agree on how Oranga Tamariki can provide support over the next few months.
  • Hui ā-whānau – Oranga Tamariki has recently started using hui ā-whānau for tamariki Māori. They’re based around tikanga Māori, and they’re facilitated by a whānau member or a kairaranga ā-whānau or someone else who is strong in tikanga.
  • Agreements for children to leave the family/whānau for a while – You can agree with Oranga Tamariki (or a service like Barnardos) that they’ll look after your child for a time, which in some cases could be up to a year.

The fourth option – a formal Family Group Conference – is what has to happen when Oranga Tamariki decide your child needs care or protection. If the Family Group Conference can deal with the problems, then the case won’t need to go to the Family Court.

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