Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989

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General principles

5 Principles to be applied in exercise of powers under this Act

(1)

Any court that, or person who, exercises any power under this Act must be guided by the following principles:

(a)

a child or young person must be encouraged and assisted, wherever practicable, to participate in and express their views about any proceeding, process, or decision affecting them, and their views should be taken into account:

(b)

the well-being of a child or young person must be at the centre of decision making that affects that child or young person, and, in particular,—

(i)

the child’s or young person’s rights (including those rights set out in UNCROC and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) must be respected and upheld, and the child or young person must be—

(A)

treated with dignity and respect at all times:

(B)

protected from harm:

(ii)

the impact of harm on the child or young person and the steps to be taken to enable their recovery should be addressed:

(iii)

the child’s or young person’s need for a safe, stable, and loving home should be addressed:

(iv)

mana tamaiti (tamariki) and the child’s or young person’s well-being should be protected by recognising their whakapapa and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group:

(v)

decisions should be made and implemented promptly and in a time frame appropriate to the age and development of the child or young person:

(vi)

a holistic approach should be taken that sees the child or young person as a whole person which includes, but is not limited to, the child’s or young person’s—

(A)

developmental potential; and

(B)

educational and health needs; and

(C)

whakapapa; and

(D)

cultural identity; and

(E)

gender identity; and

(F)

sexual orientation; and

(G)

disability (if any); and

(H)

age:

(vii)

endeavours should be made to obtain, to the extent consistent with the age and development of the child or young person, the support of that child or young person for the exercise or proposed exercise, in relation to that child or young person, of any power conferred by or under this Act:

(viii)

decisions about a child or young person with a disability—

(A)

should be made having particular regard to the child’s or young person’s experience of disability and any difficulties or discrimination that may be encountered by the child or young person because of that disability; and

(B)

should support the child’s or young person’s full and effective participation in society:

(c)

the child’s or young person’s place within their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group should be recognised, and, in particular, it should be recognised that—

(i)

the primary responsibility for caring for and nurturing the well-being and development of the child or young person lies with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group:

(ii)

the effect of any decision on the child’s or young person’s relationship with their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group and their links to whakapapa should be considered:

(iii)

the child’s or young person’s sense of belonging, whakapapa, and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group should be recognised and respected:

(iv)

wherever possible, the relationship between the child or young person and their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group should be maintained and strengthened:

(v)

wherever possible, a child’s or young person’s family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group should participate in decisions, and regard should be had to their views:

(vi)

endeavours should be made to obtain the support of the parents, guardians, or other persons having the care of the child or young person for the exercise or proposed exercise, in relation to that child or young person, of any power conferred by or under this Act:

(d)

the child’s or young person’s place within their community should be recognised, and, in particular,—

(i)

how a decision affects the stability of a child or young person (including the stability of their education and the stability of their connections to community and other contacts), and the impact of disruption on this stability should be considered:

(ii)

networks of, and supports for, the child or young person and their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group that are in place before the power is to be exercised should be acknowledged and, where practicable, utilised.

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to section 4A.

Compare: 1974 No 72 ss 4A–4C; 1983 No 129 s 3

Section 5: replaced, on 1 July 2019, by section 11 of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Act 2017 (2017 No 31).