Engagement Survey with Partners Providing Social Services

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The survey is not intended to measure and track the quality of services or performance, but to understand how Oranga Tamariki can strengthen relationships with their partners.

The key objectives for the survey are as follows:

  • Track changes in how partners view the quality of engagement, over time.
  • Determine what is working well in the relationship between partners and Oranga Tamariki.
  • Identify any challenges or barriers to effective engagement.
  • Identify opportunities for Oranga Tamariki to improve how it engages with partners, and to better support partners in their work.


The survey questionnaire was developed based on the objectives set out in the scoping document developed by Martin Jenkins. These objectives are detailed in Table 14 on page 68. The NielsenIQ team and their partner Kaitiaki Research worked with Oranga Tamariki Evidence Centre to develop the questionnaire.

The sample was supplied by Oranga Tamariki. There were 525 partners who have a current contract to provide social services. Each of these were emailed a link to the online survey, with the option of printing off a hard copy of the questionnaire and returning it via email/post. A full description of the methodologically is provided in Appendix 1, page 65.

The survey was open from 27 October 2020 to 24 November 2020. Responses were received from 214 partners, just over 40% of those invited to take part. Of these, 77 self-identified as a Kaupapa Māori organisation and 20 self-identified as a Pasifika organisation. A copy of the questionnaire and other field documents are included in Appendix 2, page 73.

In addition to the survey, eight iwi partners who hold a contract to provide social services took up a kanohi-ki-te-kanohi opportunity to give feedback. A summary of their feedback is included on page 54.

The Oranga Tamariki groups who interact with partners

This survey is focusing on partners’ relationship with four Oranga Tamariki groups.

1. Partnering for Outcomes

Partnering for Outcomes is focused on building and supporting external providers to achieve outcomes for children and young people.

The functions of this group include:

  • commissioning, and capacity and capability building strategy
  • developing partnerships, including with iwi/Māori
  • maintaining a relationships and regional presence
  • commissioning programme-related evidence and evaluation.

There are five regional Partnering for Outcomes teams, each led by a Regional Manager, working within the following regional boundaries: Te Tai Tokerau, Auckland, Midlands, Central, and Southern. Further information on regions is provided in Appendix 3.

2. Services for Children and Families

The Services for Children and Families groups work with families, whānau and the wider community to create circles of protection and care around children whose wellbeing is at risk. They look after a comprehensive set of services for children and young people, spanning prevention, intensive response, investigations, assessments, through to early adulthood services. They also oversee site-related work - including care placements and social work support to children in care.

3. Care Services The Care Services group looks after care-related functions, staff and managers across Oranga Tamariki. This group supports operation of Youth Justice and Care and Protection Residences, and provides oversight of National Care Standards.

4. Youth Justice The Youth Justice group delivers nationwide youth justice services, operates youth justice residences and supports victims of youth offending.

Key Results

Overall many partners were positive about engagement with Oranga Tamariki

  • Communication is generally rated positively, 7 in 10 found communication clear, and provided proactively and timely.
  • 6 in 10 partners are satisfied with their current interactions with Oranga Tamariki as a whole.
  • Partners reported that Oranga Tamariki is engaging and interacting the same (53%) or better (39%) than when it was established in 2017.

Communication during COVID 19 lockdown was praised.

Areas for improvement:

  • Inconsistency in the information received
  • Messaging that comes from National Office can be contradictory to local/regional office advice.
  • Amount of communication is overwhelming for some.


  • Partners overall feel more valued and supported by local/regional staff than by national office.
  • Iwi partners in the interviews said that they felt more supported by national office, who was seen as more accessible and responsive.

Partners appreciate staff who:

  • Have good understanding of the local situation.
  • Value and want to support the work that the partners do,
  • Who work in a way that is not contractual but a true partnership.

Expectations and funding

Oranga Tamariki is consistent and specific on what it expects of partners, but only 3 in 10 partners agree that the amount of funding is sufficient to meet their contractual obligations, including relevant overheads.

Page last modified: 27 Oct 2023