Welcoming Sir Wira Gardiner

Published: March 1, 2021 · Updated: March 1, 2021

Sir Wira Gardiner starts the role of acting Secretary for Children and Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children.

Wira ns

Mate atu he tete kura, ara mai anō he tete kura

Today Sir Wira Gardiner stepped into the role of acting Secretary for Children and Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children.

Over the next six months, Sir Wira and the Leadership Team will continue to focus on transforming the care and protection system to enable improved outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi and whānau.

This will include:

  • building public 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
  • exploring how resources and decision-making can be shared with whānau, hapū, iwi and communities to enable more localised and community-driven approaches.

“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,” says Sir Wira.

“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.”

Sir Wira has whakapapa links to Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Pikiao, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui and Te Whakatōhea. He is an experienced senior public servant, businessman and author. 

His former roles include founding Director of the Waitangi Tribunal, head of the Iwi Transition Agency, and founding Chief Executive of Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Māori Development. He has also been involved in negotiating settlements between Māori and the Crown.