'By Māori, for Māori' - Oranga Tamariki hui reveals Māori want to look after their own

Source: 1News

"By Māori, for Māori" is the call from Māori social workers and iwi leaders who attended a hui at the weekend addressing Oranga Tamariki's practices.

Managing director of Te Kōhao Health Lady Tureiti Moxon told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning Māori need to take responsibility for their own, "not Pākehā and not the state" she says.

"The system is broken and we need to fix it...no child should be removed from their family, that message has to go out very clearly to our government and to the Ministry for Children."

More than 400 people from around New Zealand gathered at the hui on Saturday to launch the fourth inquiry into Oranga Tamariki.

These inquiries follow the controversial measures taken to uplift children from their families.

Just last month Oranga Tamariki attempted to uplift a baby at Hawke's Bay Hospital.  This was highlighted in a Newsroom documentary where the social workers repeatedly tried to uplift the baby from the hospital to the objection of the mother, her family and the midwife involved.

Ms Moxon said "enough is enough".

"It's time to let go of the reigns and hand over our babies to us so that we can look after it in our own way, by Māori, for Māori.

"The state continues to believe it is the best parent for these children.  They think they know what is best, but they don't," she said.

Ms Moxon said part of the solution is looking for better ways to work with the parents and babies to ensure they can "be the best they can be".

Later on the programme Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Breakfast she agrees with Ms Moxon that the state isn't a great parent and says there are things that need to be improved.

"No one wants to see children in state care."

However, she wouldn't say who should take responsibility over the issue.