Waatea News Column: Minister Chhour’s defence of cutting Section 7aa will usher in a new stolen generation of Māori


I have been a defender of Minister Chhour since she took over the role as Minister for Children.

I believe a ward of the state who has been abused in that system should have voice and her journey from abused child in state care to being the Minister is a remarkable one no matter the politics.

I have also disagreed with the manner in which those critical of her have attempted to de-Māori her and write her off culturally.

I have also disagreed passionately with her decision to remove section 7AA from Oranga Tamaiki but was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt to hear her explanation.

My patience however with the Minister has officially run out after I watched her appalling interview on Q+A with Jack Tame defending these new powers to arrest 14 year olds without a warrant for breaches of a new Serious Young Offender category and send them to military boot camps that don’t work.

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Karen Chhour: My job is to stop abuse in care.
Jack Tame: How do we stop abuse happening in boot camps?
Karen Chhour: To be fair, that’s not the point of boot camps.

There isn’t even a formal process for young people to complain if they are abused inside these new Boot Camps which seems to be feeding the very system that the Minister claims to be concerned with.

Her explanation as to why Section 7aa must be removed is nonsensical and comes across like pandering to ACTs ant-Māori agenda rather than a serious social policy.

Section 7aa was supposed to create partnerships between Community Iwi and OT that would ensure any newly uplifted Māori child was looked after by them with the funding moving to the Community Iwi, but instead a few zealous OT staff sought to use 7aa to uplift Māori children who had already been placed with white foster families.

While that misinterpretation caused enormous problems, it doesn’t justify removing 7aa, especially with the new Social Investment model being implemented here.

The Social Investment model takes big data and tells OT which child should be uplifted based on how much downstream savings an uplift will generate. Without 7aa in place, the Social Investment model will dictate an enormous spike in uplifts which will cascade through as another generation of stolen Māori children.

I respect the journey Minister Karen Chhour has walked, but I can not accept her conclusions.

Her actions will cause more damage, not less.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. Martyn – The role of the Maori community is fundamental to the well being of Maori children…the State cannot replace this…

  2. Unlike yourself I have zero respect for Karen Chhour using what Maori blood she has as a political punching bag to repeal “section 7aa”. These type of wannabe Maori have been in existence for awhile in Nu Zilind Buck Carroll, Apirana Ngata, are just some that come to mind. Jack Tame annihilated her on Q & A where she couldn’t give an example of “empirical evidence” (systemic practices) that afew zealous OT staff sought to use 7aa to uplift Māori children who had already been placed with white foster families. She needed clarification from Jack on what does that mean! Karen Chhour is a charlatan using her Maori-blood as a political weapon for votes shame on her and the rest of the plastic Maaaaries doing the same shit.

    • What you say is in the right direction but going overboard. She isn’t a wannabe Maori for example, she is Maori. Your analysis such as it is of Buck, Carroll, Ngata is not at all credible, not to say stupid. She strikes me as being used as a classic ‘useful idiot’ with ingrained right wing views absorbed from some kind pat on the head by some kind pakiha at a vulnerable time and with too little intellect to challenged her received wisdom, so to speak. Not to be patronising but she does not inspire confidence for any other ‘kind’ of view. Right now she can fuck right off for her toxic stupid political policy which will cause untold damage. No excuses when you are in a position of power and do this shit.

  3. I came across this yesterday. What a fantastic series. Shame there’s only season 2 online.
    Hope some budding film maker knows how to get NZ on air funding and give the tax payer union fucks something new to whinge about.

    S02E04 is horribly tragic and still dignified and beautiful.
    Compulsory viewing for rednecks.



  4. Another dumb sinister minister out of her league, fuck we need to get rid of this lot they are corrupt, power hungry and taking our country backwards.

    • So if they do not agree with your opinion they are dumb.That is not a good start for an argument. I do not agree with much that is written but I try to respect their right to their opinion.
      One annoying feature of many of those that post say all National voters are rich pricks who are uncaring but fail to say Labour are all lovely people.

    • We’re in the Age of the Narcissist @CisP. People are experts in everything (having gone done their ‘research’) – either on the interweb, or within their bubble, or both.
      We now have two-a-penny expert virologists, criminologists, back seat aviators, dieticians, johnolists, historians, climatologists, brain surgeons, foreign policy analysts – you name it. Unfortunately many of them can now be found in out political ‘class’.
      It’ll play out (in the fullness of time, in this space, going forward). I fear the bullshit artists are not going to be that happy at the end of it. Shudda Cudda wudda

  5. The Social Investment model takes big data and tells OT which child should be uplifted based on how much downstream savings an uplift will generate.
    If that were the case there would be no need to hire social workers. This argument is quanon-esk and very loose. Remember it is always a Family Court Judge that makes final decisions on whether or not to uplift. Try to be as factual as you can despite the incredibly high emotions that surround child protection work.


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