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Use of incorrect information, lack of trauma-informed practice, failure to assess children’s safety

Children in care
Legislation display text:
Ombudsmen Act 1974, ss 13 and 22
Oranga Tamariki
Peter Boshier
Case number(s):
Issue date:

Repeated use of incorrect, unverified information about a caregiver, including at Family Court—failure to assess safety of children—lack of trauma-informed practice—poor complaints handling process and inadequate apology


In 2019, a caregiver made a complaint to Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children (Oranga Tamariki). Their complaint concerned the use of incorrect information by Oranga Tamariki about them, its failure to properly assess the safety of their youngest children, and record-keeping errors.

The complainant received an acknowledgement and apology from Oranga Tamariki, but felt that these did not adequately address the harm that had occurred. They then complained to the Ombudsman.

The Chief Ombudsman investigated, and formed the opinion that Oranga Tamariki had acted unreasonably throughout its dealings with the complainant. This included using incorrect and unverified information about them, failing to assess the safety of their youngest children, failing to recognise the trauma created by their own experiences in state care, and failing to adequately respond to their concerns

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