“ACT was proud to stand alongside youth advocate for young people in care Ihorangi Reweti-Peters as he outlined his opposition to the Oranga Tamariki Oversight Bill at Parliament today,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.

“It takes great courage for young people who have been victims to speak up. It speaks to the importance of the subject that Ihorangi, who is only 16 years old, was compelled to organise a press conference and travel to Wellington for this opportunity.

“More than 400 submissions have been made on this bill, only eight were supportive. It is the Government’s duty to consider this overwhelming feedback.

“This bill should not proceed any further. It has been made clear that this bill will not fix or even improve the issues it was introduced to address, in fact it is likely to make them worse.

“When I grew up dealing with Child, Youth and Family, I never felt like I was listened to. I have been contacted by people who feel similarly let down and that they’re not worthy of being heard in regard to this bill. That’s not right.

“I hope that Carmel Sepuloni was watching and listening today. She owes it to New Zealand’s most vulnerable to listen to their feedback and not progress with this bill.”