We modify our usual social work practice approach in the context of a measles outbreak to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Measles and immunisation

Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/our-work/interventions/youth-court/orders-and-monitoring-for-the-youth-court-te-koti-taiohi-o-aotearoa/
Printed: 22/04/2024
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

Last updated: 12/03/2024

Orders and monitoring for the Youth Court Te Kōti Taiohi o Aotearoa

We support and monitor rangatahi subject to Youth Court orders for offences that have been proved or not denied. We work with whānau or family and other key people supporting them to comply with their court orders by meeting the objectives of their plans.

Tamariki in the Youth Court

Tamariki aged 10 to 13 may come under the jurisdiction of the Youth Court under specific conditions and can, under exceptional circumstances, be subject to Youth Court orders. They are referred to as rangatahi when in the Youth Court.

Jurisdiction of Youth Court and children's liability to be prosecuted for criminal offences – section 272 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Applying our practice framework when monitoring and actioning Youth Court orders and plans

We give effect to our practice framework domain of ngākau whakairo by supporting the rights of rangatahi and tamariki and their whānau or family to realise their aspirations of oranga. We do this by supporting them to understand, participate in and follow directions from the Youth Court, including court orders. Rangatahi have the right to the lowest level of intervention, which should only be escalated when all lower-level interventions have proven unsuccessful. Youth Court orders are usually a result of serious offending, continual unsuccessful interventions and/or continued or escalating offending.

Tamariki  are rarely and only in very exceptional circumstances made subject to orders in the Youth Court.

We use our whai pūkenga relational skills to understand whānau or family, rangatahi and tamariki to keep them engaged and informed. We refer to our Te Toka Tūmoana and Va'aifetū practice models for Māori and Pacific peoples respectively, to help deepen our understanding of oranga from a cultural perspective.

Working with Māori: Te Toka Tūmoana

Working with Pacific peoples: Va'aifetū

Once we understand what oranga looks like for the whānau or family, rangatahi and tamariki, we work with them to put interventions and resources in place to support their needs. We use these skills to support them to engage and comply with their Youth Court plans and orders.

By applying the whai mātauranga domain, we draw on the knowledge held within the whānau or family and others towards strengthening oranga for whānau or family, rangatahi and tamariki. We listen to them to identify any barriers to the realisation of oranga that may stop rangatahi and tamariki from successfully completing their Youth Court orders and plans. We also look at research that indicates once a rangatahi or tamaiti enters the formal justice system, there is an impact on their oranga that has short-term and long-term implications. They are more likely to develop a pattern of offending and their offences may become more persistent and/or serious. The aim is to avoid this as much as possible, which requires a deliberate and balanced approach when considering the least restrictive intervention appropriate for the situation. 

Practice framework

Hierarchy of court responses (section 283)

Youth Court orders are usually a result of serious offending, or continual lower-end interventions and plans proving to be unsuccessful and there has been continued or escalating offending.

Section 283 sets out the orders or responses from the Youth Court following a charge that has been proven or 'not denied', and in consideration of the most appropriate response given the circumstances (for example, previous interventions, offending history).

This response is a balance between the restrictiveness of the intervention and the 4 primary considerations under 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.

Section 285 outlines restrictions on the power of the court to make certain orders under section 283.

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

Disposition orders or responses that the Youth Court may make

There are 7 groups of possible responses under section 283. The groups range from least restrictive to most restrictive. Each order listed within a group is of equal restrictiveness. Group 1 is at the lower end and is outside of the Youth Court. Group 2 responses are also at the lower end, while Group 3 contains support type orders (such as mentoring, drug and alcohol). Responses in Groups 4 to 6 are the high-tariff responses from the Youth Court to serious and continued offending, and result in a record of criminal offending for the rangatahi or tamaiti.

The court cannot impose an order under sections 283(ja), (jb), (jc), (k), (l), (m), (n) or (o) or an intensive supervision order under section 296G without first requesting a social work report under section 334. It is important that social workers are aware of the range of responses and their implications, particularly when preparing a section 334 social work report and the corresponding section 335 plan for the Youth Court.

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

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

Group 1 responses

(a) Discharge without further penalty.

(b) Admonish – rangatahi is firmly reprimanded ('told off') about their behavior.

Group 2 responses

(c) A suspended sentence – rangatahi to come back before the court within 12 months if called on.

(d) Fine – the court must be satisfied that the rangatahi has the capacity to pay the fine within 12 months of the date imposed.

(e) Cost of prosecution – rangatahi 16 years or over are to contribute to the cost of prosecution. For rangatahi under 16, their parent or guardian is ordered to contribute.

(f) Reparation – rangatahi 16 years or over to pay reparation for emotional harm, property loss or damage. For rangatahi under 16, their parent or guardian is to pay the reparation.

  • Reparation shall not include loss or damage of a consequential nature (refer to section 287).
  • The Oranga Tamariki chief executive or any guardians appointed under section 110 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 cannot be required to pay reparation or make restitution (refer to section 285(3)).

(g) Restitution – rangatahi 16 or over to make restitution in accordance with section 377 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. For rangatahi under 16, their parent or guardian to make restitution.

(h) Forfeiture of property – property of rangatahi is forfeited to the Crown.

(i) Disqualification from driving under section 297A of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989.

(j) Confiscation of motor vehicles.

Group 3 responses

(ja) Parenting Education Programme order – requiring rangatahi (if soon to be a parent or person having care of a tamaiti) or the parents or guardians of the rangatahi to attend a specified parenting education programme for a specified period of not more than 6 months.

If the parents or guardians of the rangatahi do not attend the parenting programme, the court may direct a care and protection family group conference for all rangatahi and tamariki  in their care.

(jb) Mentoring order – requiring rangatahi to attend a specified mentoring programme for a specified period of not more than 12 months. When we submit a plan for a mentoring order, it should specify the period of the order, the programme provider, and when the rangatahi should attend. The plan should also specify objectives and similar information.

(jc) Alcohol or drug order – requiring rangatahi to attend a specified alcohol or drug rehabilitation programme for a specified period of not more than 12 months. A custody order may be made where alcohol or drug rehabilitation requires the rangatahi to live away from home. If the rangatahi does not comply with the requirements of the order, the matter may be brought back to the court.

Group 3 orders may be made subject to conditions specified in the order (section 286A) and are intended to be specific to the programme provided, such as a requirement to attend or participate. Conditions beyond this would give the order the same effect as a supervision order, which is a higher-level response.

Unless the programme is to be provided by the chief executive, the programme provider has to agree to provide the programme. We ensure this has been confirmed with the programme provider. We record this agreement in the social work report and plan (refer to section 286A(2)).

Order in respect of parent, guardian or other person having the care of rangatahi (section 288)

Where necessary we inform parents, guardians and other people having the care of the rangatahi that no order may be made under section 283(o), (f), (g) or (ja) against them unless they have been:

  • informed by the court of the proposed order, and
  • given an opportunity to respond to the court.

Group 4 responses

Supervision order (section 283(k))

The intent of a supervision order is to reduce the likelihood of further offending through interventions and rehabilitation in the community. This community-based order lasts for up to 6 months (if not following another order) and requires rangatahi to address the underlying causes of their offending. It provides the opportunity to engage whānau or family support and social connection with positive peers, as well as learning new skills.

The timeframes may differ when a supervision order follows other orders:

  • completion of a supervision with residence order (the supervision order that follows will be 6 to 12 months)
  • completion of a supervision with activity order (the supervision order that follows will be 3 to 6 months).

Under section 304, it is the duty of the chief executive to provide supervision of rangatahi under this section or section 307(1) if the rangatahi is placed under the supervision of the chief executive.

A social work report (section 334) and plan (section 335) is needed where the rangatahi is required to comply with conditions and requirements outlined in the plan. The standard conditions of a supervision order are detailed under section 305 and the court's power to impose additional conditions is listed in section 306.

Conditions of supervision order – section 305 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Power of court to impose additional conditions – section 306 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989

Community work order (under section 298)

A community work order, also a Group 4 response, is for a duration between 20 and 200 hours during a period specified but not exceeding 12 months. The court must be satisfied there is suitable work available, and it is carried out under the supervision of a social worker, or a person or organisation described in section 298.

Group 5 response

Supervision with activity order (sections 283(m), 307 and 308)

This order is an alternative to a custodial sanction. It is designed to keep the rangatahi in their own community or place them with an approved programme provider for the purpose of addressing the underlying causes of their offending behaviour.  

The social worker works with the provider of the supervision with activity programme to prepare and develop the section 334 report and 335 plan for the order. The supervision with activity order is for up to 6 months, which is followed by a supervision order and requires the rangatahi to complete specified programme activities and fulfill the objectives outlined in the plan.

A supervision with activity order has the same effect as a supervision order (including conditions under sections 305 and 306) but, in addition, the order may require that the rangatahi:

  • attends any specified centre each week during the evening or weekend for as many months as the court thinks fit and participates in the activity as required by the person in charge of the centre
  • undertakes a specified programme or activity.

A custody order may be made where a residential programme like an outdoor pursuits camp, alcohol, or drug rehabilitation order or similar requires the rangatahi to live away from home.

Custody

The residential component must be provided by the chief executive or approved by the chief executive under section 396 (section 290A).

Section 308 states that the conditions of a supervision with activity order made under section 307(1) are the same conditions listed in section 305.

Group 6 response

Supervision with residence order (sections 283(n) and 311 to 317)

Because age is a mitigating factor for tamariki aged 12 or 13 years, we consider all less restrictive alternatives before placing them in a youth justice residence (section 365(3)).

The supervision with residence order is usually made following breakdowns of supervision and/or supervision with activity orders and is the only custodial sentence that can be imposed by the Youth Court. The rangatahi is placed in a section 364 youth justice residence, with the name of the residence specified in the section 335 implementation plan. If for any reason we need to move the rangatahi to a different residence, we need to get the court's permission (section 312(3)).

The effect of a supervision with residence order is like a parenting order under the Care of Children Act 2004, and any existing custodial rights, powers and duties are suspended (section 312 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989). The chief executive has the role of providing the day-to-day care for the rangatahi. Note that guardianship rights remain with parents and caregivers.

However, the court may make an access order (section 313), and consent is needed from a parent or guardian (not being the chief executive) or the rangatahi if they are 16 years or over for any medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment (section 319). Consent can be given by a caregiver if the parents or guardians cannot be found, or as a last resort by the chief executive.

The judge records in writing the reasons for making this order (section 290).

If a rangatahi absconds while serving a supervision with residence order, the time while they are at large does not count as part of the order period (section 315).

Transition planning following supervision with residence or supervision with activity order

Social work practice that focuses on detailed and timely transition planning can contribute to successful outcomes for the rangatahi and their whānau or family.

We begin working on the transition plan with the whānau or family, the provider or residence, and services and professionals who will be involved after the discharge before the rangatahi is discharged from a residential programme or order, such as an alcohol and drug rehabilitation programme, supervision with activity programme away from home, or a supervision with residence order. It's important that we:

  • work with and plan with whānau or family and others to facilitate a smooth transition back to the community to implement any post-release plans and orders
  • consult with providers, professionals involved and residence case managers to assess the need to vary any conditions of the proposed supervision order
  • discuss the conditions of the proposed supervision order with the rangatahi and their whānau or family, or the need to vary existing or impose new conditions for the plan
  • work with the residential case leader when completing the section 335 plan for the supervision order after the supervision with residence order for the rangatahi before they leave the residence
  • stipulate the level of supervision, monitoring and any additional conditions that will promote the successful completion of the plans for the rangatahi 
  • work with whānau or family, providers and professionals including police to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and re-admission to a residence.

Transitions for children and young people who offend: Actively planning for success 

Policy: Transition to adulthood – preparation, assessment, and planning 

Policy: Transitions within care 

Consulting about sharing information 

Split sentencing (section 311(2A) for supervision with residence and section 307(2) for supervision with activity)

When a supervision with residence or a supervision with activity order is made, split sentencing enables the social worker to submit the plan to the Youth Court for the supervision order that follows closer to the completion of the supervision with activity or supervision with residence order. 

The plan for the supervision order may not have been finalised to submit to court together with the report and plan for the supervision with residence or supervision with activity order. Submitting the plan for the supervision order later allows the social worker time to work with the whānau or family and others to develop the objectives and conditions of the supervision order, as well as agree on placement, duration of order, and level of support required. There is no provision under split sentencing to make other types of orders.

If a social worker considers that split sentencing is appropriate, they raise it in the section 334 report and include their reasons. The court then decides if split sentencing occurs – this does not happen automatically.

Intensive supervision order (section 296G)

The court can make an intensive supervision order when a rangatahi has failed to comply with a supervision or supervision with activity order that was being judicially monitored under section 308A.

An intensive supervision order is subject to the standard conditions of supervision orders (section 305). In addition, an intensive supervision order can contain stronger reporting conditions and additional conditions such as a curfew, with or without electronic monitoring of compliance. Conditions are set down by the court under:

A social worker is allocated to supervise each rangatahi on an intensive supervision order (sections 296G and 296H). We need to regularly engage with the rangatahi so we can support them and their whānau or family or caregiver to comply with the conditions of the order.

Rangatahi subject to an intensive supervision order are required to report to a social worker at least once a week for the first 3 months, and then at least once a month after this, under section 296I (not section 305(1)(b)).

Effectiveness reports (section 320)

We provide the court with an effectiveness report following the completion of the orders listed below. The person or organisation who supervised te tamaiti or rangatahi (as the case required) completes written reports of the following orders made by the Youth Court, as well as the responses to those orders as follows:

  • parenting programme – includes orders made against a rangatahi, and against their parent, guardian, or other person having their care
  • mentoring programme
  • alcohol or other drug rehabilitation programme.

In addition to the above orders, we complete reports on the following Youth Court orders:

  • supervision order
  • community work order
  • supervision with activity order
  • supervision with residence order
  • intensive supervision order.

When the order expires, the person or organisation supervising the order completes the reports. We include enough detail in the report to help the court understand how effective the order has been for the rangatahi (section 320(4)). If it's appropriate, we can also provide additional information like a counsellor's report, where consent to use, attach or release the report has been obtained from the rangatahi and their parents, guardians or other people having their care. When several orders are in place, the social worker can prepare one report discussing the effectiveness of each order.

If a parenting education order has not been complied with, the court may under section 297A(4) make a referral to a care and protection coordinator to convene a family group conference under Part 2 of the Act. The conference considers the care and protection of every tamaiti or rangatahi affected by the order (other than the rangatahi the order was made for).

A supervisor approves the effectiveness report completed by the social worker. The report is then provided to the appropriate youth justice coordinator, to the rangatahi and to their youth advocate.

Reviews of orders for periods of at least 8 months (section 319A)

Where a social worker has completed a section 335 court plan for an order lasting for at least 8 months (mentoring order, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programme order, and supervision order if it accompanies a supervision with residence order), we need to complete a review of that order. The court sets the review date when it makes the order.

The section 335 plan will have outlined specific objectives to be met by certain dates. We provide the court with a report that details the objectives met, plans to meet objectives not yet achieved and recommendations about any orders and conditions in place.

We also provide the court with a revised plan.

The court requires that section 335 plans for these orders are reviewed no later than 6 months after the order was made. The provision also sets out the requirements of the review report and the powers of the court to revoke an order and substitute another direction.

Powers of court in dealing with rangatahi already subject to order under Part 4 (section 297)

If a rangatahi who a social worker is supporting and monitoring reoffends while being subject to a Youth Court order:

  • we can work with the police to incorporate the new charges into the existing order
  • the court can make an additional order for the rangatahi (subject to section 285(5))
  • the court can also revoke an order that the rangatahi is already under and make a new order under section 283.

Judicial monitoring (section 308A and 308B)

The court may direct the judicial monitoring of one or more conditions of a supervision or supervision with activity order by a social worker if:

  • the current order has replaced an order the rangatahi failed to comply with, or
  • the rangatahi has previously been subject to an order more restrictive than a supervision order, or
  • the rangatahi has previously been convicted in the District Court or the High Court and has been subject to a sentence of home detention or imprisonment or a community-based sentence under the District Court or the High Court.

A direction for judicial monitoring may require:

  • the rangatahi to attend court every 3 months or more frequently
  • a social worker to provide progress reports for court hearings (please note the requirement under section 308C(3)).

The police or social worker may ask the court to direct the rangatahi to attend court, and a warrant to arrest may be issued if the rangatahi fails to appear.

Restrictions on making certain orders (section 285)

Social workers need to be aware that the court has restrictions on the making of orders:

  • The court cannot recall a section 283(c) order together with a supervision, community work, or supervision with residence order.
  • No additional order, except admonishment, can be made where a rangatahi is convicted and transferred to the District Court or the High Court.
  • Community work, supervision with activity, and supervision with residence orders cannot be made concurrently or cumulatively with each other, or with any community-based sentence, home detention or imprisonment orders made under the Sentencing Act. This means that these orders cannot be served at the same time (concurrently) or one after the other (cumulatively) if the rangatahi is already subject to a community work, supervision with activity, or supervision with residence order (or imprisonment, home detention or a community-based sentence under the Sentencing Act 2002). The court may only make a community work, supervision with activity, or supervision with residence order if the existing order will expire no later than 14 days after the making of the new order.

If the court would have made a community work, supervision with activity, or supervision with residence order, but is prevented from doing so by section 285(b), (ba) or (c) (in relation to existing District Court or High Court sentences), the court may make a section 283(o) order (transfer to the District or High Court for sentence or decision) if it considers that no other order under section 283 would be appropriate.

For section 283(o) to apply, the rangatahi must be aged 15 years or over, or 14 years old and charged with a category 4 offence or a category 3 offence with a maximum penalty of 14 years or more imprisonment.

Suspension, cancellation, variation or substitution of court orders (section 296E)

If it is necessary to vary, suspend, cancel or substitute the court orders, the social worker files an application in the Youth Court. The applicant may be:

  • the social worker (acting as the delegate of the chief executive) for failures to comply with parenting education programmes, mentoring programmes, and alcohol and drug programmes
  • the social worker (acting as the delegate of the chief executive) for failures to comply with supervision orders, intensive supervision orders and supervision with activity orders.

The application is filed in the name of the Legal Services solicitor.

The social worker then ensures that:

  • each application is served on the rangatahi and their parent, guardian or other person having their care
  • a copy is sent to the youth advocate.

Disposal of proceedings in the Youth Court (section 289)

The court is required to impose the least restrictive outcome adequate in the circumstances (section 289 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989). This applies to bail, remand and sentencing proceedings. The court is also required to keep court appearances to a minimum for rangatahiand tamarikiand their whānau or family.

Expiry of orders (section 296)

When rangatahi turn 19 years old, the following orders under sections 283 expire:

  • order to come before the court if called on within 12 months of the order being made
  • a parenting education programme order
  • a mentoring programme order
  • an alcohol or drug rehabilitation programme order
  • a supervision order
  • a community work order
  • a supervision with activity order
  • a supervision with residence order
  • an intensive supervision order under section 296G
  • a custody order under section 297B(5), or
  • a custody order under section 307(4).

Parent, guardian or other person having the care of rangatahi may be summoned to court (section 278)

We need to be aware that the court has the power to use section 278 to summon parents, guardians or other people having the care of the rangatahi to appear at court if it sees fit. Where we become aware that parents, guardians or other people having the care of the rangatahi are reluctant or refusing to engage with the court, or that the court has issued summons for them to attend court, we explore what support they may need to help them to attend court to support their rangatahi.

Court not to make orders unless family group conference held (section 281)

If a charge against a rangatahi is proved before the Youth Court, a family group conference is held to consider how the court might deal with matters in relation to the charge (unless the family group conference is not required under section 248). After the family group conference, the court can make an order under section 282 or 283 (see below).

Court powers to discharge charge (section 282)

The court has the power to discharge charges against the rangatahi or tamaiti. This means that while the offence has been committed, there will be no criminal record of the rangatahi or tamaiti. These orders can be made at the time of the discharge or earlier. This applies to court responses under section 283(e) to (j) – that is, only group 2 or 3 responses qualify for a section 282 discharge.

For rangatahi, a section 282 discharge is not available for serious category 4 offending.

Effect of order for a fine, payment of compensation, restitution, or forfeiture of property (section 293)

Any order or decision under this provision under section 283(d) to (h) is as if it was made by the District Court. Every such order or decision will be the responsibility of the Youth Court and its officers. Social workers should be aware of this provision that could apply to a rangatahi or tamaiti that they are working with.

No rangatahi is liable to imprisonment or community or home detention for failing to comply with these orders. In addition, no rangatahi will be required to pay costs, expenses or fees for the enforcement of these orders or decisions.

Recall to come before the court (section 295)

If rangatahi are placed under a section 283(c) order, the Oranga Tamariki chief executive or the Police can make an application to the court, at any time during the order, for the court to summon the rangatahi to appear before it.

Warrant to arrest rangatahi to ensure attendance at court (section 296C)

The Youth Court can issue a warrant to have a rangatahi arrested and brought before the court if it is satisfied that:

  • all reasonable efforts have been made to locate or serve the breach application on that rangatahi, but those efforts have failed, or
  • the breach application has been served on the rangatahi, but they have failed to appear before the court.

The social worker can make an application for the issue of a warrant if the social worker is the applicant for a failure to comply declaration relating to the following orders:

  • parenting programme – including orders made against the rangatahi and against their parent, guardian or other person having their care
  • mentoring programme
  • alcohol or other drug rehabilitation programme
  • supervision
  • community work
  • supervision with activity
  • supervision with residence
  • intensive supervision.

Execution of warrant under section 296D

A warrant issued under section 296C can only be executed by a police constable who has the power to enter any premises (by force, if necessary) if they believe that the rangatahi is there.

Group 7 response

Transfer to District Court

For a rangatahi who is 16 years or over or is aged 14 or 15 years and is charged with a category 4 offence or a category 3 offence with a maximum penalty of 14 years or more imprisonment, the Youth Court may enter a conviction and have the rangatahi brought before the District Court for decision or sentencing.

This order is not available for tamariki aged 12 or 13 years.

The judge records in writing the reasons for making this order (section 290).

Where the court makes this order in relation to an offence and the rangatahi is also charged with other offences, the court can transfer all proven charges to the District Court (section 291).

Before making this order, the court must have the section 334 social work report. However, no section 335 plan is required as the matter will be determined in the District Court. A sentencing report is usually directed after the order is made, provided by Ara Poutama Department of Corrections.