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

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Part 2 Care and protection of children and young persons

Principles

13 Principles

(1)

Every court or person exercising powers conferred by or under this Part, Part 3 or 3A, or sections 341 to 350, must adopt, as the first and paramount consideration, the well-being and best interests of the relevant child or young person (as required by section 4A(1)).

(2)

In determining the well-being and best interests of the child or young person, the court or person must be guided by, in addition to the principles in section 5, the following principles:

(a)

it is desirable to provide early support and services to—

(i)

improve the safety and well-being of a child or young person at risk of harm:

(ii)

reduce the risk of future harm to that child or young person, including the risk of offending or reoffending:

(iii)

reduce the risk that a parent may be unable or unwilling to care for the child or young person:

(b)

as a consequence of applying the principle in paragraph (a), any support or services provided under this Act in relation to the child or young person—

(i)

should strengthen and support the child’s or young person’s family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group to enable them to—

(A)

care for the child or young person or any other or future child or young person of that family or whānau; and

(B)

nurture the well-being and development of that child or young person; and

(C)

reduce the likelihood of future harm to that child or young person or offending or reoffending by them:

(ii)

should recognise and promote mana tamaiti (tamariki) and the whakapapa of the child or young person and relevant whanaungatanga rights and responsibilities of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group:

(iii)

should, wherever possible, be undertaken on a consensual basis and in collaboration with those involved, including the child or young person:

(c)

if a child or young person is considered to be in need of care or protection on the ground specified in section 14(1)(e), the principle in section 208(2)(g):

(d)

a power under this Part that can be exercised without the consent of the persons concerned is to be exercised only to the extent necessary to protect a child or young person from harm or likely harm:

(e)

assistance and support should be provided, unless it is impracticable or unreasonable to do so, to assist families, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family groups where—

(i)

there is a risk that a child or young person may be removed from their care; and

(ii)

in the other circumstances where the child or young person is, or is likely to be, in need of care and protection (for example, where a family group conference plan provides for assistance to be given to a child or parent to address a behavioural issue that may lead, or has led, to the child’s removal from the family):

(f)

if a child or young person is identified by the department as being at risk of removal from the care of the members of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group who are the child’s or young person’s usual caregivers, planning for the child’s or young person’s long-term stability and continuity of living arrangements should—

(i)

commence early; and

(ii)

include steps to make an alternative care arrangement for the child or young person, should it be required:

(g)

a child or young person should be removed from the care of the member or members of the child’s or young person’s family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group who are the child’s or young person’s usual caregivers only if there is a serious risk of harm to the child or young person:

(h)

if a child or young person is removed in circumstances described in paragraph (g), the child or young person should, wherever that is possible and consistent with the child’s or young person’s best interests, be returned to those members of the child’s or young person’s family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group who are the child’s or young person’s usual caregivers:

(i)

if a child or young person is removed in circumstances described in paragraph (g), decisions about placement should—

(i)

be consistent with the principles set out in sections 4A(1) and 5:

(ii)

address the needs of the child or young person:

(iii)

be guided by the following:

(A)

preference should be given to placing the child or young person with a member of the child’s or young person’s wider family, whānau, hapū, iwi, or family group who is able to meet their needs, including for a safe, stable, and loving home:

(B)

it is desirable for a child or young person to live with a family, or if that is not possible, in a family-like setting:

(C)

the importance of mana tamaiti (tamariki), whakapapa, and whanaungatanga should be recognised and promoted:

(D)

where practicable, a child or young person should be placed with the child’s or young person’s siblings:

(E)

a child or young person should be placed where the child or young person can develop a sense of belonging and attachment:

(j)

a child or young person who is in the care or custody of the chief executive or a body or an organisation approved under section 396 should receive special protection and assistance designed to—

(i)

address their particular needs, including—

(A)

needs for physical and health care; and

(B)

emotional care that contributes to their positive self-regard; and

(C)

identity needs; and

(D)

material needs relating to education, recreation, and general living:

(ii)

preserve the child’s or young person’s connections with the child’s or young person’s—

(A)

siblings, family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group; and

(B)

wider contacts:

(iii)

respect and honour, on an ongoing basis, the importance of the child’s or young person’s whakapapa and the whanaungatanga responsibilities of the child’s or young person’s family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and family group:

(iv)

support the child or young person to achieve their aspirations and developmental potential:

(k)

if a child or young person is placed with a caregiver under section 362, the chief executive, or, if applicable, a body or an organisation approved under section 396, should support the caregiver in order to enable the provision of the protection and assistance described in paragraph (j).

Compare: 1974 No 72 s 4

Section 13(1): inserted, on 1 July 2014, by section 6(1) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Vulnerable Children) Amendment Act 2014 (2014 No 41).

Section 13(1): amended, on 1 July 2019, by section 16(1) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Act 2017 (2017 No 31).

Section 13(1): amended, on 1 July 2019, by section 16(2) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Act 2017 (2017 No 31).

Section 13(2): replaced, on 1 July 2019, by section 16(3) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Act 2017 (2017 No 31).