National first introduced piece of Oranga Tamariki Act legislation it now seeks to repeal – Willie Jackson

Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Willie Jackson is accusing the government of throwing its support behind the repeal of a piece of legislation first introduced by a National-led government.

A Waitangi Tribunal inquiry report has warned government that a repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act could cause harm to children in care.

Section 7AA legally binds Oranga Tamariki to adhere to treaty principles and improve outcomes for tamariki Māori, and the government is planning to introduce a bill to the house mid May to remove it from the Act.

Jackson said the National Party was instrumental to introducing Section 7AA and worked alongside Tariana Turia and the Māori Party to bring it together.

“I give National credit for actually cobbling together that legislation and actually saying let’s try and find who their parents were, lets try and find their whakapapa Māori because statistics tell us that once they know something about their history and their background they’re better off for it.”

In an interview with Morning Report Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said he would not be commenting on the report and had not had a chance to read it.

Jackson said the government had disrespected the Waitangi Tribunal and would be foolish to ignore the advice of such a knowledgeable panel of people.

“It’s sad the way they went after the tribunal. I see the tribunal as incredibly important part of our history and I don’t like the disrespect that was shown to the tribunal particularly by David Seymour who thinks that his party has more mana than some of the most respected Māori leaders of this country who are on the tribunal”

In its report the tribunal also asked the government to consider allowing time for a periodic review of the legislation which would provide a considered analysis of Section 7AA to the Minister for Children by 1 July next year.

Tribunal claimants appealed a High Court decision last week which overturned a tribunal summons ordering the Minister for Children to provide evidence at the inquiry.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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