Scrapping Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act: An assault on Māori

A guest post by Kendra Cox (Te Ure o Uenukukōpako, Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou)

Last week, Minister for Children Karen Chhour’s Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill had its first reading in parliament. Iwi, hapū, hāpori and whānau Māori have been fighting against this possibility since it was put firmly on the agenda when the coalition agreement of the three-headed taniwha was made public late last year. The repeal of 7AA has been a project of Minister Chhour’s and the ACT party since 2022 – and indeed a prior version of the current Bill was voted down by the house without making it to first reading in July 2023.