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KAREN CHHOUR: Interviewed by Mike Hosking

KAREN CHHOUR: Interviewed by Mike Hosking May 14, 2024

Listen here at NewstalkZB.


Mike Hosking: So, the weird old business of the Children’s [Minister] appearing before the Waitangi Tribunal came to an end yesterday with a loss for the government. The High Court said the Tribunal could not summons the Minister, the Appeal Court over-turned that. It doesn’t matter anyway because the legislation’s in the house so the Tribunal’s jurisdiction’s come to an end. The Minister concerned is Karen Chhour who is with us. A very good morning to you.

Karen Chhour: Good morning, Mike.

Mike Hosking: How’s this whole experience been for you, if we’ve all just been wandering around wasting everyone’s time and money?

Karen Chhour: Look. I came to parliament to make a real difference in young people’s lives. I saw a problem, I campaigned on the problem and I listened to the issues out in the community. And I made a promise to those people that I’d make some real change and this is part of that promise, removing Section 7AA from the Oranga Tamariki Act. Didn’t know it was going to get as much attention as it has, but I actually think it is really good that this conversation has started.

Mike Hosking: Is the Tribunal over-reaching in general?

Karen Chhour: I can’t talk about the case right now but what I can talk about is the actual bill that the case was about and that is about making sure all our young people are treated with dignity and respect, and get the care that they deserve.

Mike Hosking: In simple terms what you are looking to do is place the child, race aside, with the best possible carer, correct?

Karen Chhour: Absolutely. This is to make sure that we give a clear direction to everybody who is working with our young people that their best interests and safety come first and foremost. Whanau, hapu and iwi can be important in a child’s life, but what’s most important is that they are safe.

Mike Hosking: How can you possibly argue that the best outcome for the child doesn’t trump everything, including race?

Karen Chhour: I really don’t understand that, because at the end of the day, over 65 percent of kids in care are Maori, and we know that Maori are the highest victims of harmful behaviour, of family violence and harm, and we also know that those stats have risen significantly over the last few years. We need to make sure our young people are safe and that’s all I am doing, and I will keep fighting and I will make sure that this happens.

Mike Hosking: So your message to the Tribunal, that you are unrepentant, and you are unapologetic?

Karen Chhour: Yes, I am unapologetic for putting the children first. That’s what I am here for and that’s why I put my hand up. To make sure our young people are safe. We can’t have our young people dying.

I got sent Lady Moxon’s interview yesterday with Heather where she stated that children come out of state care traumatised. I would argue, let’s tell the whole story. Children coming into care are traumatised. Oranga Tamariki is there at children’s worst moments. I take my hat off to all those social workers out there who are trying to make the hardest decisions and the best decisions for our young people. I’m going to give them the tools to be able to make those decisions.

Mike Hosking: Well said Karen. Appreciate your time as always. Karen Chhour, who’s the Minister for Children.


Postscript: Hosking interviewed the Prime Minister shortly after. Luxon stated, “The substantive issue here is we are very united and strongly aligned around the fact that we don’t believe Section 7AA is the right thing. We think the primacy of the child is important over and above their cultural needs.”



2,972 views153 comments


An aside: what to really worry about!

An estimated 5 billion people worldwide wide would die in 72 hours if a nuclear war occurred.

We might be near to such a war. It could start by accident… Putin and Trump?

Some hope for kiwis and Oz dwellers, though.

‘Professor Brian Toon, a leading expert on climate and atmospheric science, says only two countries could potentially survive a nuclear winter - New Zealand and Australia, who can 'sustain agriculture'.

Replying to

Putin & Trump .. ?? They are the LEAST likely to start a nuclear war. There are plenty of lunatics who might, though.


There seems to be one question I have never heard a journalist ask of the elite radical Maori pushing their barrow on 7AA: Question: So, let me make sure I understand where you are coming from, you want to continue making it mandatory to send your seriously abused children back to the same, Whanau, Iwi, and Hapu who were responsible for torturing their children, so that they can be fully immersed in their culture? Have I got that right!


Luxon: "We think the primacy of the child is important over and above their cultural needs.”

Too right - not much use being wrapped around by your birth culture if you're dead!


2 days ago

This whole business is a bloody nonsense costing again millions of dollars. We all just want to protect and love children as much damn well possible. If they are Maori then place them with whomever offers to do the job well. The best way possible surely is to ask the child…….If Karen Chhour had been asked should would have gone to her beloved granny not her alcoholic mother…..

Replying to

Karen told me that "child welfare" advised her that her grandparents didn't want her . Which was a lie. The authorities made the arbitrary decision that they were too old.

She found this out later in life. In reality, they loved her and cared about her.

The government agency , for whom I once worked, in its many guises is rotten to the core . Very powerful and lacking accountability for some appalling decisions. I could write a book on the subject.

Review after review , after review ad infinitum.


The above makes for interesting reading.

The activist/s have won their appeal in the Court of Appeal Shock horror!

It no longer matters, as the coalition government intends to remove the controversial 7AA. Lesson? if those opposing the removal play hardball, the government's recess action to duly remove 7AA also plays hardball. So activists/the judiciary stick that where there is no sunshine!

Just Boris
Just Boris
3 days ago
Replying to

Yep, agree. But these Caring Understanding Nineties Types are wasting so much of our money with all the appeals & WT processes.

And as Franks said, they need to hurry up and legislate the racist, activist Supreme Court right back into its box.

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