19 December 2022

Deputy Public Service Commissioner Ms Helene Quilter QSO has today announced the appointment of Mr Chappie Te Kani to the position of Secretary for Children and Chief Executive, Oranga Tamariki | Ministry for Children.

Oranga Tamariki and its partners support children and young people in New Zealand who are at risk of harm. The agency works to ensure children and young people are in safe and loving homes and that tamariki and rangatahi Māori thrive under the protection of whānau, hapū and iwi.

The Secretary for Children and Chief Executive is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership to Oranga Tamariki, ensuring appropriate policies and practices are in place to care for and protect tamariki and rangatahi, including those in the youth justice system. The Secretary for Children is also responsible for ensuring the agency has a fit-for-purpose culture and that decisions and solutions are developed with regions, communities, whanau and iwi.

“I’m very pleased to announce Mr Te Kani’s appointment to this role,” Ms Quilter said.

“He is a dedicated and respected public service leader who is well equipped to continue leading Oranga Tamariki on its journey to rebuild trust and confidence in the care and protection system and improve outcomes for tamariki, rangatahi, and whanau.”

Mr Te Kani is currently the Acting Chief Executive of Oranga Tamariki, a role he has been in since October 2021.  While in the acting role, he established a new leadership team and strengthened relationships with iwi, Māori, non-government organisations and other key stakeholders. Mr Te Kani has also developed and progressed initiatives under the Oranga Tamariki Future Direction Action Plan, working closely with the Ministerial Advisory Board which provides assurance on progress to the Minister for Children. He also led the development of the first joint children’s agencies’ Oranga Tamariki Action Plan

Ms Quilter said Mr Te Kani is closely connected to the purpose of Oranga Tamariki and is committed to building trust and confidence in the agency including implementing the recommendations from recent reviews of family harm incidents.

Mr Te Kani holds a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University of Wellington and a Post-graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Massey University.

He has been appointed for three years.



Mr Te Kani is currently Acting Secretary for Children and Chief Executive, Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, a role he has held since 2021.

Before this (2020-2021), Mr Te Kani was Head of System Assurance and Continuous Improvement (Covid-19 response) at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

For four years (2017 to 2021), Mr Te Kani was Assistant Commissioner at the Public Service Commissioner.

He was Acting Chief Executive Te Arawhiti in 2020 and Acting Chief Executive Ministry of Pacific Peoples in 2017.

From 2015 to 2017 he was a policy advisor at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Between 2013 and 2015 Mr Te Kani was an Associate Director at Ernst and Young.

For seven years (2006 to 2013) Mr Te Kani was Deputy Secretary, Treaty Negotiations at the Ministry for the Environment.

Media queries:  Sam Rossiter-Stead 021 940 457 or Media@publicservice.govt.nz