June 18, 2019
Baby grabs a matter of routine
The lawyer for the young mother at the centre of the storm about Oranga Tamariki's baby uplifts says the agency has normalised policies that may be illegally and almost certainly breach the Treaty of Waitangi.
Janet Mason has written an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on behalf of Te Ao Pēpi, a group of senior Māori who say they have been flooded with calls from desperate women who have had similar encounters.
She says the problems seem to be getting worse, particularly the practice of uplifting subsequent babies if a previous child has been taken into care.
"The stats have gone up in the last three years by quite a lot so I think as a matter of routine the agencies collect the stats, people are under surveillance, they know when they are going to have a subsequent baby, they go to the court, they file an affidavit, and it's all just a matter of routine," Ms Mason says.
She says uplifts are being made on the say so of social workers who don't have the training or tikanga skills to give proper advice to the court, and the whānau is being denied a hear in breach of natural justice.
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