Ministry for Vulnerable Children seeks to tackle abuse and neglect

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children will replace the Ministry of Child, Youth and Family, aiming to protect the more than 230,000 children classed as vulnerable.

Child Youth and Family has had 14 restructures, but the Government claims the new ministry is a transformational change.

They're also adamant it's not just a change of name, saying at the centre of it all will be the child's voice.

"We must open our ears, we must listen right from the start," says Ministry for Vulnerable Children CEO Grainne Moss.

New Zealand's record on child abuse is disturbing.

Child neglect or abuse cases in New Zealand:

July-Dec 2015: 7571 children

July-Dec 2016: 6808 children

While the latest CYF figures show cases of abuse or neglect have dropped 10 per cent, it still means 6800 children were abused or neglected in the second half of last year.

Five thousand kids are in state care right now, and most are Maori.

Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft says it's "Dismal, disgraceful and utterly unacceptable."

"This government has decided to take a pretty big step which hasn't been done before to change the way we go about the whole job," Prime Minister Bill English says.

Other changes include that young people will be able to stay in care until they are 18 and more resources will be given to social workers so they can do their jobs.

Judge Becroft says this is our best chance to create real change.

"There is pretty widespread consensus that the vision that's been set out is the correct one - I guess the concern for anybody is that with a good vision still on the whiteboard, is it going to be delivered in practice and properly resourced?"

Judge Becroft says it isn't just up to the Ministry, every New Zealander needs to be their bit make sure our tamariki are cared for.