Waatea News Column: Tribunal warning on removing 7AA while Minister Chhour is forced to testify


The backlash to Minister Chhour’s political gesture of refusing to appear in front of the Waitangi Tribunal to defend and justify the repeal of 7AA that forces Oranga Tamariki to engage with Māori over the uplift of Māori Children into State Care was reignited this week with the Court of Appeal decision yesterday that determined that the Minister does have to appear in front of their inquiry.

The political Right have framed this as Tribunal over reach and that as Ministers of the Crown they are only accountable to the electorate once every 3 years.

National, ACT and NZ First all used Māori as a political punching bag this election and crushing any and all Māori aspiration inside public services seems more important to this Government that providing the public service in the first place.

Removing Te Reo from Government agencies, the perverse Treaty Principles Referendum, killing off the Māori Health Authority, backtracking on Māori representation at local council levels, and now the repeal of Section 7AA have all been examples of this new Government’s anti-Māori agenda.

Minister Chhour says the repeal of 7AA “has no effect on the need for Oranga Tamariki to keep children in state care safe”.

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“The repeal of section 7AA does not prevent the consideration of the cultural wellbeing of children in state care, and existing partnerships between Oranga Tamariki and iwi and Māori organisations will continue.”

Well, that’s not completely true. OT are obligated to work with Māori care providers because of 7AA, remove it and it opens up the possibility of immediate no notice uplifts of Māori children because OT doesn’t need to take the time to find appropriate carers and can simply uplift them directly into state care.

This is deeply problematic because the entire basis of the Social Investment model that is currently being touted by this Government is to save the State money by directly intervening at the quickest time their big data algorithms tell them to uplift.

The incentive is for immediate removal, 7AA prevents this, removing 7AA will open up a tsunami of uplifts and fuel the next lost generation of Māori kids.

This matters because we have 4479 children in Oranga Tamariki’s care and this year we saw abuse of those kids in State care rise from 453 to 519.

That’s over 10% of kids in State care abused while in State care.

We need a focus on solutions, not more ideological garbage.

The Minister needs to stop playing political games and front the Tribunal and explain why removing 7AA will make those kids in care safer.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. The Waitangi Tribunal has just signed its own death warrant. Talk about cooking their golden goose.

    Much the same for the Christchurch Call.

    • You might be happy to live under a government that is not subject to the existing laws however any reasonable knowledge of history will tell you that it won’t end well.

      • Governments break laws all the time. They also have the will of the people to change laws, that’s why they’re elected.

        Tell me, when does NZ decide that the Waitangi Tribunal has done its job and time to move on? Of course those inside the tribunal will say n never, I wonder why?

        • So you think it is Ok for government to break the law. In that case you don’t believe in the coalition of chaos when they constantly parrot their one law one system mantra.
          You seem to think whats applicable to Seymour as a Minister isn’t applicable to Seymour as a private citizen. You are a cockwomble just like him. Probably a mugwump as well.

        • When Maori have been fully compensated for the theft of their lands. That is, when they are compensated to the current commercial value for the land that was stolen. Too real for you.

        • You have a very loose definition of “break laws”, I get that lots of people don’t like the Waitangi Tribunal however it is a contract that the NZ government side has consistently failed to honor in the past so just because it gets more attention now is no legitimate reason to claim that it should not exist. While electing governments gives them the power to make & change laws we have things like conscience votes & higher majorities required for sensitive issues to prevent unjust outcomes for a reason.

      • Very moderate. Luxon belongs in the Labour party.

        Still no answer to the question on the level of rent seeking from the Waitangi Tribunal.

  2. White supremacy at play using brown people as a kicking thingy to show their power in this country. Chhour maybe paaaart Maaaari but she doesn’t speak for Maori nor has she have the best interest of Maori because her politics excludes her from taking positive actions.

  3. People with nothing to hide answer questions simple as that. Chhor is but an unfortunate poster child of the system. She is being used to whiten the system and is trying to take people’s innate culture away. This law will do nothing other than cause division and harm. Unfortunately as we all know there are more ways to harm a child and making them white strikes at the very heart of their existence . This won’t end well and it is our future inquiry into state care .

  4. She has put the children first and that’s how it should be.Using the children as pawns in this game is unacceptable.

  5. While all the white folk are busy Maori bashing, the Indians are the new colonists .The stupid white employers are feeding this take over thinking they are making money buy under paying these new New Zealanders .In a few short years these businesess will be closed and the owners will be working for the new colonists at the local fag and booze shop

    • it does have to be said that the underpaid workers you speak of gordon are largely if not wholly from their community and families, most agricultural slaves are employed by white/maori/corporate farmers….so they are hardly taking advantage of nz workers are they

  6. In summary, the tribunal does not summons those who bash their kids so they end up in OT care in the first place. And when they get given to a good loving environment, the tribunal has a problem because maybe it’s not Maori. Good one Tribunal, you really care for the kids’ welfare.


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