Shannon Pakura is Chief Social Worker with Child Youth and Family Services in the New Zealand government. In this paper Pakura reflects on the history of family group conferences (FGC) in New Zealand. This begins with changes in government policy and law leading to the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 and its introduction of the FGC. Pakura describes the social and cultural context in which the FGC was initiated and implemented. Looking back on those efforts and the history of FGCs in child welfare in New Zealand, Pakura identifies what was done well, what could have been done better, the effects of FGCs on Maori children and families, and challenges for FGCs and child welfare in the future.