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Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake December 2020 Newsletter

Hi <<First Name>>

Kia ora koutou and welcome to our December 2020 update.

Ngā mihi o te Meri Kirihimete me te Tau Hou ki a koutou me ō koutou whānau.
Christmas and New Year’s Greetings to you and your whānau.

Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake / Independent Children's Monitor

We’re proud and honoured to announce our new Māori name, Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake. The name speaks to the outcomes we seek to achieve. It is functional yet symbolic and encompasses a sense of protecting or safeguarding the mana of children through our independence or, equally, through the mana of our independence protecting or safeguarding children. 

While a Māori name for us was first raised in May 2019, as part of the process of recognising the importance of engaging with Māori, Te Mātāwai advised that it might be premature to provide options for a Māori name given we were still forming and defining our function.

Earlier this year, Aperahama Hurihanganui, as part of his translation work for us, gifted the name to us and it was endorsed by our Kāhui Group in September. The new name was then shared with the Ministry of Social Development’s translators before we took it to our new Minister last week ahead of the announcement today.

This is a very special moment for us, and we thank all who have been involved in this process, especially Aperahama for this wonderful gift.

The announcement of our new Māori name, Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake, comes after we welcomed new staff at a Mihi Whakatau in October. We now have staff located in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and New Plymouth.

Third monitoring report

Our third report outlining agency compliance with the Oranga Tamariki (National Care Standards and Related Matters) Regulations 2018 (NCS Regulations) has been delivered to the Minister for Children and is due to be published on our website in January 2021.

As with our first two reports, this report focuses on regulations 69 and 85, which relate to reports of abuse and neglect of children and young people in care and, as appropriate, regulation 86, which requires agencies to have a system for self-monitoring.

In completing this third report, we would like to acknowledge the impact this year has had on individuals, whānau, businesses and communities.

Me mihi ki a koutou mō ngā pukumahi kotoa i roto i ēnei wā rerekē. Thank you for all of your hard work during these unusual times.


During the month of November, we piloted our tools and assessment approach in three communities across Aotearoa. The purpose of the pilots was to prepare for the extension of our work monitoring all the NCS Regulations from 31 December 2020. The pilot teams set up base in Taranaki, Horowhenua and Hauraki, and met with tamariki and rangatahi, caregivers, iwi, Māori providers and staff from the agencies being monitored, including Oranga Tamariki and Open Home Foundation. Through the interviewing process, the team were able to korero with a number of iwi and whānau ora services who were willing to share their experiences of the Oranga Tamariki system. They also interviewed just under 50 Oranga Tamariki staff across the three regions.

This mahi will help us to understand the experiences of those who have interacted with the Oranga Tamariki system and help indicate whether positive outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau wellbeing are being achieved. We are also working closely with Voyce – Whakarongo Mai and Caring Families to support rangatahi and caregivers through the process. 


Over the past few months, our Chief Monitor, Nova Banaghan, and I have met with stakeholders across Aotearoa, including Te Runanga o Turanganui a Kiwa and Te Runanganui o Ngāti Porou in Gisborne, Ngā Maia Māori Midwives in Hawke’s Bay, Ngai Tahu and Whānau Ora in Christchurch, Te Arawhiti, Council of Christian Social Services, Voyce Whakarongomai and NZ Māori Council in Auckland, Ngati Toa in Porirua and, of course, the four monitoried agencies - Barnardos, Dingwall Trust, Open Home Foundation and Oranga Tamariki.

Our Operations team have also been busy meeting with a range of shared care providers and hui responders in the Marlborough, Kaikoura and Whanganui regions – some kanohi kit e kanohi (face-to-face) and some via Zoom.

All these engagements continue to provide useful insights and information that help to inform practical aspects of the monitoring and assessment visits to be conducted from next year.

To help shape our future mahi, we are now starting to connect with NZ Police, and the Ministry's of Health and Education around how we best work with them during our expanded monitoring, clarifying the best ways for our monitoring teams to interact with these sectors in the different local communities.

Hearing from local schools, education and health staff, and police involved in care and protection or youth justice will help ensure our staff have easy to understand ways of engaging that are productive and respectful of each other’s time and expertise, and will ensure we are speaking with the right people.

Measures Workshops

The team has been busy holding Measures Workshops with Oranga Tamariki, working alongside them to identify how they can measure their delivery against the National Care Standards (NCS) in a way that both drives improvement and provides us a transparent view of progress. These workshops have identified a large set of potential measures across quantity, quality and equity dimensions as well as system enablers and by capturing the experiences of those involved.

Oranga Tamariki have set up a Tactical Data Group to identify whether the data is available in their systems, as well as its quality and reliability. This will result in a set of data to feed into their self-monitoring of the NCS and continuous improvement planning, as well as a prioritisation of, and path forward for, identified gaps in current recording and reporting.

A number of you have expressed interest in this mahi and, in the New Year, we will share with you where this work has progressed to. We will be interested in your views on both the suggested measures as well as other information that you think would be useful for us to consider in understanding the quality of services received by tamariki and rangatahi in care.

Relationship Agreements

We are updating the Memoranda of Understanding, which we have with the four agencies who have custody of children, so we have fit for purpose Relationship Agreements as we move into our next Phase of work. We have met with Barnardos, Dingwall Trust, Open Home Foundation and Oranga Tamariki to discuss the foundations of our relationships and how we commit to working together at all levels. The new agreements will be drafted and out for agencies to consider before Christmas.

Ethics Code

We have finalised our Ethics Code, which describes how we will ethically and safely engage with tamariki, rangatahi, whānau and caregivers. This is available on our website.

Ngā mihi o te Meri Kirihimete me te Tau Hou ki a koutou me ō koutou whānau.
Ngā mihi nui
Arran Jones
Tumu Whakarae | Executive Director
Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake | 
Independent Children’s Monitor 
Copyright © 2020 Independent Children's Monitor, All rights reserved.

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