Parliament has given a third reading to the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill.
Subpart 4 of Part 2 of the bill was divided and given a third reading as the Vulnerable Children Amendment Bill.
The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 will be renamed the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, with an accompanying title of the Children’s and Young People’s Well-being Act 1989.
A small number of amendments will take effect following Royal Assent, while the majority will come into force by 1 July 2019.
Minister for Children Anne Tolley says the new legislation changes the purposes and principles of the Act to better ensure children and young people are at the centre of decision-making, while considering them within the context of their family, whānau, hapū, iwi, and communities.
She says it also:
- allows young people in care to remain or return to living with a caregiver until the age of 21, with transition support available up to age 25.
- strengthens information sharing provisions to help keep vulnerable children and young people safe from harm or make arrangements for their well-being.
- extends the youth justice system to include most 17 year olds (excluding those charged with specified serious offences).
- enhances the complaints processes.