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First Reading Of 7AA’s Repeal: Progress For Children

Hon Karen Chhour
Minister for Children

The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today.

The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.

“When I became the Minister for Children, I made it clear that my intention is to re-focus Oranga Tamariki, make sure it is child-centric.

“For too long, the system that is responsible for protecting our most vulnerable young people has expanded its primary duties of care and protection to additional considerations that do little to further elevate safety, well-being and stability.

“Removing Section 7AA from the Act reinforces the need to put the safety of the child first,” says Ms Chhour.

“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.

“If we truly see our children as taonga, let's start treating them like they're precious, because right now, many children in this country are being treated like a piece of furniture that gets passed around from place to place until they're broken beyond repair, with no care for their rights or needs, and this needs to stop.”

The Social Services and Community Committee will consider the Bill.

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