The robustness of New Zealand’s policy advisory system

the case of the Oversight of Oranga Tamariki System and Children and Young People’s Commission Bill


  • David King



Policy advisory systems, Child care and protection, Statutory independence, Learning systems


Recent legislation reforming the oversight of Oranga Tamariki and the role of the children’s commissioner was met with all but universal opposition. A key concern was that locating monitoring of the care and protection of children with a government department (and not the commissioner) was too close to ministers to ensure the level of independence required for such a function. This article suggests that the public sector policy advisory system was not robust enough to come up with the optimal policy solution when, in effect, all others said it was wrong. The case gives cause for the public sector to reflect upon the quality of its advisory function.


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Author Biography

David King

David King is an independent public policy analyst and was a senior public servant for 20 years. Disclosure: David King is a friend of the former children’s commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft. In forming his views on the bill he did not discuss its merits with Judge Becroft, to ensure the independence of his analysis.



2023-02-13 — Updated on 2023-02-17