High Court Backs Up ACT Bill
“The High Court decision on the “Moana case”
released today reflects the sort of changes that ACT is
proposing to Oranga Tamariki,” says ACT’s Children’s
spokesperson Karen Chhour.
“The child who is
now six-years-old was traumatised and neglected when she was
placed in a loving home. Oranga Tamariki later applied to
remove her because the pakeha family couldn’t provide for
her ‘cultural needs’.
Tamariki failed in its obligations by not putting her
wellbeing and best interests ahead of all other matters. It
also failed the caregivers who had done nothing but love and
care for her.
“It should never have gone this
far and Section 7AA was used to justify these decisions,
that’s why I want to repeal it.
who grew up in state care, I have deep appreciation of what
children need. Each child regardless of race, has their own
individual circumstances and family background which means
we should never take a blanket race-based approach. Every
child should be seen as an individual and their wellbeing
must come first.
"Section 7AA of the Oranga
Tamariki Act 1989 places duties on the Chief Executive that
are at odds with the agency’s primary purpose to support
the wellbeing of our most vulnerable and at risk children.
This will ensure they get a chance in life, and we can break
the vicious cycle of trauma, harm and
"While well intentioned, section
7AA creates a conflict between protecting the best interests
of the child and race-based factors enshrined in 7AA. This
conflict has the potential to cause real harm to our
“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. My Member's Bill would ensure this
happens, placing more value on the best interests of the
child rather than the Treaty.
“My Bill, which is due to be debated soon, The Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill, will ensure the wellbeing of the child comes before any other consideration. This will ensure the safety of our Tamariki and give our most vulnerable children the best chance in life and that we don’t see more cases like this one.”