October 29, 2019
Baby uplift policy in tribunal spotlight
A woman who drew attention to Oranga Tamariki’s uplift of babies is welcoming the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision to hold an urgent hearing into the policy.
Jean Te Huia from the Māori Midwives Association led efforts to stop the department taking a newborn baby form Hawke’s bay Hospital earlier this year.
She says the inquiry can look at crown policy and practice in a way other inquiries can’t.
It cannot undo past injustices but it can create a space for Māori to hold the crown to account.
"We cannot explain away why that happened to us except by saying it was colonisation, it happened because of this, because of that, but what we can do is to look factually at what are the repercussions for our Māori māma and pēpi, our whānau who have had their lives disrupted," Ms Te Huia says.
Jean Te Huia says the inquiry will be a chance to show how more than half a century of taking Maori babies and children had created a conveyor belt to prison, gang culture and other social ills.
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