Proposed repeal of Oranga Tamariki Act section to strengthen support for children

Section 7AA created a conflict for Oranga Tamariki when it comes to decisions regarding a child's best interests

Proposed repeal of Oranga Tamariki Act section to strengthen support for children

Legislation that pushes for the repeal of the Oranga Tamariki Act’s section 7AA has been presented to Parliament. 

“I consider that section 7AA allows the treatment of children and young people as an identity group first, and a person second. It creates a divisive system that has had a negative impact on caregivers”, Minister for Children Karen Chhour said. “This repeal will ensure that Oranga Tamariki is entirely child-centric and is making decisions that ensure a child’s wellbeing and best interest”.

She explained that while the section was implemented “with good intentions”, it introduced conflict for Oranga Tamariki in relation to decision making that factored in a child or young person’s best interests. The introduction of the bill, she said, reflects the Coalition Government’s commitment to the welfare of children in care. 

“I believe section 7AA has placed some duties on the chief executive that are at odds with the agency’s primary purpose, which is to support the wellbeing of our most vulnerable and at-risk children”, Chhour said.

Nonetheless, she confirmed that the proposed repeal would not impact Oranga Tamariki’s partnerships.

“I have indicated to Oranga Tamariki that existing strategic partnerships with iwi and Māori organisations will continue, and the repeal would not prevent Oranga Tamariki from entering into further strategic partnership agreements with iwi or Māori organisations”, Chhour said. 

 

 

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