Feedback and complaints

We value your feedback – good and bad – and are committed to responding to you and working with you to resolve concerns you might have. 

Official complaint

A complaint is when you are dissatisfied with the way we have gone about our work. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • a decision we have made
  • an action we have taken (or a lack of action being taken)
  • the way we have treated you
  • the standard of service we have provided you with

What happens when you make a complaint

We'll acknowledge your complaint by phone or email and let you know what we'll do to resolve it. You'll receive a reference number for your complaint, and we'll tell you who will be reviewing it. You should get this acknowledgement within 5 working days.

We'll work with you to make sure we understand your complaint to see what went wrong and how this can be put right. We’ll listen to your point of view, and discuss with you how you would like the complaint to be resolved and what actions you would like us to take. 

We do our best to resolve complaints as soon as possible, and within 35 working days.

If your complaint is unique and complex we may need to work with others to resolve it – this will take longer.

How we investigate complaints

Most complaints are usually reviewed by the site – this is managed by the site manager.

This is so the issues can be managed as close to the source of the concerns as possible. The site staff will have current knowledge of the case and have built relationships with you and whānau and often need to continue these relationships.

It also allows staff to offer their version of events which is necessary to understand as part of the complaint review. In some cases you may have already tried to address the concern with the site, the issues might be more complicated, or you might want someone who has not been involved to look into your complaint. In these cases, we will consider who is the best person to review your complaint.

Who can support you when you make a complaint

We know it can be hard to tell your story and you may be nervous about what will happen.

You can ask a support person such as a family member, friend, advocate, or social worker to make a complaint on your behalf.

If someone contacts us to make a complaint on your behalf we will check that you know they have contacted us and that you give permission for us to talk to them about your concerns.

VOYCE – Whakarongo mai: advocacy service for children in care

If you're a child or young person in care, VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai will be able to help you express your point of view about issues that are important to you.

VOYCE – Whakarongo mai is an independent connection and advocacy service, separate from Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children. Their role is to listen to you, support you, and be on your side.

If you need help contacting VOYCE – Whakarongo Mai, you can talk to your social worker or call the Oranga Tamariki phone number 0508 FAMILY and we can help you make contact.

Type of complaints we can't help with

There are some complaints that Oranga Tamariki doesn’t manage because they need a different kind of response, but we still want to hear from you and see how we can try to help. We may advise you of alternative people to contact, or work with you to find another pathway to address your concerns.

Report a concern you have about a child's safety or wellbeing

Make a complaint about a court decision

Our complaints process is unable to consider decisions made by the Court.

If you have concerns about Court decisions, you can raise your concerns either by seeking legal advice, or by contacting the Court or making a complaint to the Ministry of Justice.

Make a claim about abuse that occurred in care

If you have experienced abuse or neglect while in our care, you may be able to make a claim. Please talk to us, we can help find ways to support you. 

How to make a complaint

The easiest way to sort out a problem is usually to contact your local Oranga Tamariki office. Talk to the person you've been dealing with or ask for the manager. You can also contact our Feedback and Complaints team:

Call us

Call 0508 326 459 (0508 FAMILY).

This will take you to the National Contact Centre where you can ask to be put through to the Feedback and Complaints Team.

The National Contact Centre may ask you about your concerns to make sure that any urgent issues are directed to the appropriate team for an urgent response. 

Write to us

You can complete a paper feedback form from your local Oranga Tamariki office, or write to us at:

Oranga Tamariki Feedback and Complaints

PO Box 546

Wellington 6014

Use an online form

Enter your concerns into the online form below. The information you enter is sent directly to the Feedback and Complaints team. You’ll receive an automatic reply email so that you know your form has been received, and we’ll get back to you within 5 days – just make sure you give us your contact details. 

Information for children

Tamariki in care can contact us using the methods above. You can also find out more about how tamariki can give us feedback on our website.

Online form

Does this relate to a child (or children) we are working with?
What do you want to tell us?
Have you spoken to us about this before?
What would like us to do?
Your Contact Information
Which ethnic group do you belong to?

Published: March 24, 2017 · Updated: December 12, 2023