Rights of tamariki Māori

Te Wai Ariki is especially concerned with the rights of tamariki Māori (Māori children). We are committed to providing thought leadership to help ensure that tamariki Māori enjoy their particular rights and status: as tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand, as partners to te Tiriti o Waitangi, and as Indigenous children under international law.


Our work in this area includes research and open access publications into the nature of the rights of tamariki Māori, the involvement of tamariki Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand’s care and protection system, critical commentary on recent draft legislation regarding the monitoring and oversight of Oranga Tamariki (the government department responsible for taking children into state care), and a report on determinations of the best interests of tamariki Māori in need of care and protection. We have also fed into a report by the Children’s Convention Monitoring Group on children’s rights in the COVID response. Our work has been shared with domestic child rights advocacy groups and whānau, members of the judiciary and law profession, and has fed into the work and monitoring of United Nations bodies such as the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Our work on the rights of tamariki Māori has frequently been the subject of media attention.

Our Tamariki Rights reports

Other reports

We have also fed into the work of other bodies, including contributing to a report by the Children’s Convention Monitoring Group Children’s Rights in the COVID-19 Response.


Media associated with our tamariki rights reports includes: