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Oranga Tamariki Māori purge ‘arrogant and conceited’, says Te Pāti Māori MP

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Te Tai Tokerau MP Mariameno Kapa-Kingi.

Te Pāti Māori MP Mariameno Kapa-Kingi is calling for Children’s Minister Karen Chhour to resign over her handing of Oranga Tamariki.

Kapa-Kingi said every position in the child protection agency with the words “Māori”, “treaty” or “culture” in its title is being dumped.

Last week, the agency announced 21 specialist Māori-centric roles were being culled to meet the coalition Government’s savings targets in the public sector.

Chhour has also refused to front up to the Waitangi Tribunal to explain her reasons for scrapping section 7AA of the act, which sets out the responsibilities of the chief executive to uphold mana Tamariki and the Treaty of Waitangi.

Karen Chhour.
Karen Chhour.

Kapa-Kingi says that disrespects all the work done in the previous National-Act Government a decade ago to come up with 7AA.

“All of that discussion, all of those stories, all of that real ground-truth experience from our mokopuna matters nought because of her own personal story – ‘I’m a survivor of Oranga Tamariki (or whatever it was called before) and I did OK’ is such an arrogant, ignorant, conceited way of acting as a minister,” she says.

Kapa-Kingi says Chhour is a weak minister who is supporting a Pākehā narrative that we are all New Zealanders and Māori don’t exist.

Born in Australia, Chhour, who has whakapapa to Ngāpuhi, moved to New Zealand as a baby, first living with her grandparents in Kaeo before moving back in with her mother on the North Shore at the age of 5.

She regularly ran away from home and ended up in foster care, which she states as a reason for her interest in addressing homelessness and child poverty. She worked in property management prior to becoming involved in politics.

Adam Gifford, Waatea.News.Com

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