Kia ora koutou,
This week I formally started in my role as acting Secretary for Children and Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children.
At the outset, I want to acknowledge the work of the Ministry’s frontline staff and our many partners and caregivers around the country. The critical role you play in our communities has become even more apparent over the last 12 months due to the impacts of COVID-19. Thank you for all that you’re doing this week while we are at alert levels 2 and 3.
Me kii pēnei ki a koutou katoa: Kia kaha. Kia maia. Kia ū tātou. Continue to be strong. Be courageous. And you will succeed. Your success is our success.
Over the next six months, the Leadership Team and I will continue to focus on transforming the care and protection system to enable improved outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau.
This will include:
- building trust and confidence in Oranga Tamariki;
- responding to the four reviews of Oranga Tamariki that have called for us to improve our policies and practice and strengthen our cultural competency; and
- exploring how resources and decision-making can be shared with whānau, hapū, iwi and communities to enable more localised and community-driven approaches.
We will continue to work with you as we continue our journey to transforming the care and protection system. In doing so, our focus will remain on tamariki, rangatahi and their whānau.
For every action we take, I will want to know explicitly how that action will contribute to the safety and security of tamariki mokopuna.
I am excited about the opportunities and look forward to working with you - and all New Zealanders - to ensure all tamariki are in loving whānau and communities.
Kia kaha rā,
Sir Wira Gardiner