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Section 7AA is worth fighting for, but we must remember it is not rangatiratanga

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 00:36 authored by Luke FitzmauriceLuke Fitzmaurice
On the 21st of May 2024, the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament. The Bill seeks to repeal section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, which is the Treaty of Waitangi provision within that legislation. Section 7AA requires the government to take a number of steps aimed at upholding Te Tiriti and reducing disparities for Māori within the child protection system. As a result, its planned repeal has been met with widespread opposition from Māori, including a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal. In this article, I argue that those advocates are right to oppose the repeal of section 7AA, but that equally, we should not equate section 7AA with the full realisation of tino rangatiratanga over kainga protected by Te Tiriti. The provision falls far short of that. In light of broader efforts to diminish the influence of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in law and policy, the damage the current child protection system does to Māori, and the possibility that section 7AA provides a pathway for tino rangatiratanga to be realised in future, section 7AA is still worth saving, but we must keep that wider context in mind.

History

Preferred citation

Fitzmaurice-Brown, L. (2024). Section 7AA is worth fighting for, but we must remember it is not rangatiratanga. Māori Law Review, (June 2024). https://maorilawreview.co.nz/2024/06/care-of-children-section-7aa-is-worth-fighting-for-but-we-must-remember-it-is-not-rangatiratanga/

Journal title

Māori Law Review

Issue

June 2024

Publication date

2024-06-17

Publication status

Published

Contribution type

Article

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