Centre-stage at official launch
Young people who have experienced state care were among those leading the official launch of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki in Wellington on Friday 31 March.
An hour-long event at National Office began with conversations between the young adults and the Prime Minister Bill English, Minister for Children Anne Tolley and Chief Executive Gráinne Moss, joined by dignitaries, sector leaders and partners.
Master of Ceremonies was 16-year-old Ivana Seuala, with youth speakers - Piki Boyles, the winner of 2015 William Wallace award, and Jon Pilalis, who was raised in a home with foster siblings.
Mrs Tolley said the new Ministry will ensure children and young people have a say in the decisions that affect them, which is what young people have said they want.
"This is the start of a four to five year major transformation programme to build a more child-centred care and protection system, focusing on harm and trauma prevention and early intervention, rather than crisis management."
“Children and young people will also have access to a new independent advocacy service, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai.”
VOYCE - Whakarongo Mai
If you're a young person or child who is already in care you can contact VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai. The people are friendly, and know what it's like to be in care so are 100% on your side. They'll listen to your needs, connect you with others, and help you be heard when you need it.