The Green Party will be voting against the Oranga Tamariki oversight bill as it comes up for second reading in Parliament today.
“It’s time for the Government to listen to the experts and hit pause on this seriously flawed legislation,” says Jan Logie, Green Party spokesperson for children.
“Legal academics from the University of Auckland have recently made clear why the legislation needs a major overhaul.
“The evidence presented by Time to Taihoa confirmed our serious concerns that the bill is inconsistent with our commitments under te Tiriti o Waitangi and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in substance and process.
“Not only that, but today Parliament heard from Save The Children, on behalf of 10,800 people, raising the alarm that children themselves have not been consulted with, which is their right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“It is clearer now more than ever that this bill is designed to meet the interests of the Crown, rather than the vulnerable children it should be protecting.
“The Green Party is clear that the future wellbeing of our most at-risk tamariki and rangatahi must be at the heart of our decision-making, especially those in the hands of the State care system.
“If legal experts are coming out and saying that the Government disregarded both Te Tiriti and UNDRIP, and UNCROC in the development of this bill, then we know it is not going to do what the Government says it will.
“The calls to stop are growing stronger by the day, and it’s time for the Government to start listening.
“The Greens are committed to tangata whenua-led responses to state care, and strong voices for children. We call on the Government to go back and engage appropriately with Māori and our children to restore trust and ensure these systems work for the people who need them,” Jan Logie says.