May 09, 2019
Baby grab shows need for Māori solutions
A Māori sociologist says a case where midwives were locked out of Hawkes Bay Hospital while Oranga Tamariki and police tried to seize a newborn baby from his mother shows how the system is broken for Māori.
The case highlighted the fact the children’s ministry uplifts on average three Māori babies a week from maternity hospitals.
It has left to calls from Māori for the sacking of Oranga Tamariki boss Grainne Moss.
Professor Tracey McIntosh, who served on the government’s Welfare Expert Advisory Group, says while people working for the agency may want the best outcomes for whānau, the frameworks aren’t there to allow it to happen.
"The impossibility and nearly a wilful blindness to see actually this young woman had support, she had backing from a midwife right up to the highest iwi level. That's why it is such a Māori issue and why it is an issue in terms of whakapapa that is so significant to all of us. It's why the need for real true forms of restoration and why we need to have whole whānau solutions with Maori at the centre," she says.
Professor McIntosh says young Māori are being put in position where they have no authority over their lives.
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