October 15, 2012
Place for whangai in adoption bill
Green MP Kevin Hague says he’s keen to hear from Maori as to whether his adoption bill has got it right on whangai.
The Greens are refusing to support Labour MP Jacinta Ardern’s adoption bill, which has already been drawn from the ballot, because it says its formula of asking the Law Commission to propose a new bill in needlessly drawn out and complex.
Mr Hague says his bill picks up recommendations the Law Commission made when it looked at adoption a decade ago, and it also leaves room for discussion on wider issues such as Maori adoption practices.
"What the bill does is it explicitly says whangai is permitted, which is not present in the current law, but says that will occur based on local iwi-based tikanga and this bill is not seeking to regulate whangai. Now there will be Maori who say the bill should regulate whangai. I’m keen to hear Maori perspectives on that," he says.
Mr Hague says existing laws treat adopting a child like a property transfer, where the links to the birth whanau are completely severed.