Release: Govt’s stubbornness will harm Māori children

Government has remained stubborn and is ramming its Bill into the House today, which the Waitangi Tribunal has said will hurt vulnerable children.

“The Government’s refusal to heed the tribunal’s warning and instead, lunge head-first into repealing Section 7AA may mean harmful ramifications for Māori children,” acting spokesperson for children Carmel Sepuloni said.

“National need to do the right thing and step in to stop the repeal of Section 7AA. They cannot allow ACT to continue running rampant and belittling both the mana of the Waitangi Tribunal and the rights of tamariki Māori.

“We agree with the Tribunal’s findings, and call on the Govt to dump this callous Bill, use the current legislation to review the section and engage widely with affected groups.

“Today, the Court of Appeal has also overturned a decision, ruling the Tribunal’s summoning of Minister Karen Chhour as valid.

“The divisive rhetoric we’re seeing coming out of this Govt is shocking. With today’s new ruling, it’s only correct that Minister Chhour and her boss David Seymour should apologise for wasting time and taxpayers’ money.

“This comes amidst proposed callous cuts across multiple agencies that weaken the Government’s ability to keep children safe.

“Most recently, it’s been reported that an internal watchdog team, which reports on abuse happening under Oranga Tamariki is also up for cuts. Another concerning choice this Government is making.

“National may be used to ceding ground when it comes to its coalition agreement with ACT, but they shouldn’t compromise when it comes to caring for and protecting our most vulnerable children,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

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