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Printed: 29/02/2024
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Last updated: 01/07/2019

Additional factors to be considered by Youth Court when making an order under section 283(o) – section 284(1A)

Section 284(1) lists the factors that the Youth Court must consider when making certain orders under section 283. Section 284(1A) requires additional factors to be considered if the order is under section 283(o).

Upcoming changes for this guidance

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice approach

What the social worker report is

Section 283 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 sets out the responses that the Youth Court may make once a charge against a tamaiti or rangatahi has been admitted or proven. The responses are ordered in groups from least restrictive to most restrictive.

Hierarchy of court’s responses if charge against young person proved – section 283 of Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

The court cannot impose an order under section 283(ja), (jb), (jc), (k), (l), (m), (n) or (o) or an intensive supervision order under section 296G without requesting a social worker report under section 334. The court can ask for a social worker report at other times.

Report by social worker – section 334 of Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

If the court is considering an order as above, the social worker report must be accompanied by a plan that shows how the order will be implemented.

Report to be accompanied by plan – section 335 of Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

The report must have regard to the purposes and principles of the Oranga Tamariki Act in sections 4, 5 and 208 and the 4 primary considerations in section 4A(2):

  1. the wellbeing and best interests of te tamaiti or rangatahi, and
  2. the public interest (which includes public safety), and
  3. the interests of any victims, and
  4. the accountability of te tamaiti or rangatahi for their behaviour.

Factors to be addressed in the report – section 284(1)

The social worker must address a number of factors when developing and submitting their report to the Youth Court. Section 284 lists these factors.

Additional factors to be addressed in certain circumstances – section 284(1A)

If the Youth Court is considering whether to transfer proceedings to the District or High Court under section 283(o), section 284(1A) lists the additional factors that must be addressed in the social worker report. These are:

  • the seriousness of the offending
  • the criminal history of the rangatahi
  • the interests of the victim
  • the risk posed by the rangatahi to other people.

Factors to be taken into account on sentencing – section 284 of Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

When to write the report

The Youth Court will ask for a social worker report when it is considering whether to make an order after a charge against a tamaiti or rangatahi has been admitted or proven.

Who writes the report and plan

The social worker for te tamaiti or rangatahi writes the report and plan (if required) and provides it to the Youth Court.

The social worker monitors and reviews the plan if:

  • the Youth Court agrees to the plan
  • Oranga Tamariki has custody of te tamaiti or rangatahi, or a supervisory role.

How to write the report

1 Review the information on CYRAS and from the Youth Court for te tamaiti or rangatahi

Look at:

  • the nature and circumstances of the offence proven to have been committed by te tamaiti or rangatahi
  • their involvement in the offence
  • their personal history, personal characteristics and social circumstances that may be relevant to the offending and any order that the court may make
  • any previous offending proven to have been committed by te tamaiti or rangatahi, and any penalties imposed or orders made in relation to that offending (offences that have been discharged from court under section 282 are not to be included).

Think about the causes underlying the offending and the measures available for addressing those causes so far as it is practicable to do so.

Consult with colleagues within Oranga Tamariki who know te tamaiti. This may include:

  • the care and protection social worker, supervisor and/or coordinator
  • the transition support worker.

2 Talk to te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family

Talk to te tamaiti or rangatahi about:

  • their attitude about the offence
  • the effect on them of any penalties or orders for previous offences that have been proven in court.

Find out how the whānau or family or family group has responded to the offending and to te tamaiti or rangatahi as a result of the offending. Do they have any ides or proposals to inform the report or plan?

Ask if te tamaiti or rangatahi and their whānau or family have made reparation or apologised to any victim of the offending, or plan to do this. Is there an opportunity to explore restorative justice as a component of the report and plan?

3 Talk to the victim

Find out how the offending has affected any victim. Does the victim have any views or expectations about how the offending affected or is still affecting them?

Consider if there is a need for reparation to be made to the victim.

4 Review the outcomes of the family group conference

Check any decisions, recommendations or plan of the family group conference.

5 Completing the report and plan

The social worker must use the section 334 report and section 335 plan templates on CYRAS.

The templates contain guidance about what information needs to be included in the report or plan. 

The report and plan need to:

  • identify the reasons supporting the recommended outcome
  • include social work analysis and relevant excerpts of any practice work tools or general research that has been relied on to form the views in the report or plan.

The plan must contain:

  • clear objectives
  • clear indications of how objectives will be met (or have been met in regard to Effectiveness Reports)
  • who will be responsible for defined actions
  • the timeframes within which they will be achieved.

We need to keep in mind that mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga are all connected and essential elements for the overall oranga of tamariki and rangatahi, family, whānau, hapū and iwi.