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Oranga Tamariki Bill Discussions Positive

Oranga Tamariki Bill Discussions Positive
• Whanau Ora Iwi Leaders Group

Consultation with Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has eased concerns held by the Whanau Ora Iwi Leaders Group over aspects of the proposed Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill.

Rahui Papa, co-chair of the Group, said it had identified a range of concerns but had been especially alarmed at the removal of a priority to first place a child within a whaanau home, and at ensuring the rights of extended whaanau in decision-making were protected.

But those concerns had been allayed following discussions with Mrs Tolley.

“We have appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with the minister who has understood our objection to the intent and wording of the Bill as it currently stands,” said Mr Papa.
“She has understood our views on the need for children to remain as much as possible within the korowai of extended whaanau, hapuu and iwi, and for extended whaanau to be at the centre of decisions about what is to happen to their mokopuna.

“We agree with Mrs Tolley that at all times the safety of the child must rule, however this does not need to be at the exclusion of wider whaanau capable of providing safe, secure and loving home environments,” said Mr Papa, who is also chairman of Te Arataura, the executive committee of Waikato-Tainui.

Mr Papa will address the Social Services Select Committee on Monday 20 March 2017 to deliver the submission of Waikato-Tainui.

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