Karen Chhour
ACT’s spokesperson for Children

The Waitangi Tribunal has completely missed the point with its review into Oranga Tamariki.

Oranga Tamariki is broken for all children, not just Maori. If we can’t get the current system right, how will creating an independent Maori Transition Authority fix anything?

I was a Maori child in state care and I can tell you that Maori children aren’t that different, they just need to be loved, fed, educated and not abused by the people who claim to care for them.

We need to do what’s in the best interest of a child regardless of the colour of their skin.

The review concentrates on the Treaty, parents and whanau. How about we ask what’s best for the kids? Nobody has stopped to ask whether removing children from these families was actually in their best interest.

The BFD. Uplifting babies. Cartoon credit SonovaMin

At the same time as the Government is pulling back on its inquiry into abuse in state care.

Oranga Tamariki’s governing principles and its Act should be colour-blind, utterly child-centric and open to whatever solution will ensure a child’s wellbeing. I have a Member’s Bill which would ensure this happens, placing more value on the best interests of the child rather than the Treaty.

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Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?
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