A damning report has described the culture of care in Child, Youth and Family as "dump and run".
The report by the Children's Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills, details the agency's handling of cases of abuse, neglect and foster care.
"Is it any wonder that they're more likely to leave school with no qualifications, to end up unemployed, to have arrest records?" That is not ok. We need to do a lot better for these young people," Dr Wills says.
The report says around 5000 children are in CYF care, 56 per cent of them are Maori and in one year alone 117 children suffered "substantiated abuse".
CYF is already undergoing a major overhaul.
"Social workers, who are out there doing their best in a difficult job, spend less than 15 per cent of their time with children and over 50 per cent of their time on paper work. The system is not right," says Anne Tolley, Social Development Minister.
The report says it's not possible to know if children are better off as a result of state intervention.
And of the 1743 kids that left CYF supervision last year, the agency cannot say why 1042 of them left.
Daryl Brougham spent his childhood going in and out of 50 state care homes, subjected to neglect, starvation and abuse.
Daryl, a former CYF foster child, now 34, received an apology this year for the failure in his care.
"Often in my time in care I was to believe that I moved so much because it was my fault. And I started to believe that. So with the apology letter, that was really a licence to say 'Darryl, it's not your fault'," he says.
Darryl now hoping the Children's Commissioner's report signals the start of a new chapter for New Zealand's most vulnerable children.