“Minister Sepuloni needs to put her ego to one side and start listening to the overwhelming feedback being delivered on the Oranga Tamariki Oversight Bill,” says ACT’s Social Development spokesperson Karen Chhour.
“I asked the Minister what it would take for her to start listening. She was quite clear that she had no interest in hearing from anyone that held a dissenting view on the Bill, and claimed that she had done enough consultation to satisfy her.
“I can assure the Minister that the advocates who are so concerned about the Bill feel differently. She should not be dismissing them.
“Just last week a 16 year old victim of abuse in state care travelled all the way to Parliament to hold a press conference because she wouldn’t listen to his voice,or others in similar positions.
“Meanwhile survivors of abuse in state care feel so let down and ignored by her that they’re holding a vigil outside her electorate office tomorrow.
“If the Minister honestly thinks she’s listened and done a good job of consulting,then I’m afraid she’s in la-la land.
“Yesterday a report was released that says this Bill risks creating a "vicious cycle" of increasing harm to children and young people. It details the ssues in a way that the Minister can no longer in all conscience say that this Bill is in the best interest of children and young people.
“This Bill is an example of why I came to Parliament, to stop Wellington bureaucrats making the same mistakes of the past.
"I can tell you from my experience in dealing with Child, Youth and Family growing up, the worst thing you can do as an organisation is lose the trust of our youth, because to come forward takes huge courage and why would you come forward if you don't trust the system?
“The lack of respect and dismissive attitude that has been shown by Labour will do nothing to help survivors. Minister Sepuloni and her holier than thou attitude is doing a massive disservice to our most vulnerable.
“The point of the Bill is meant to be to strengthen the oversight of Oranga Tamariki, in reality it will be degraded instead. She should be open to hearing that feedback.”