November 08, 2019
More than apology needed for baby uplift harm
A Ngāti Kahungunu kaumatua and Hastings community leader wants to see financial compensation and other support for the whānau caught up in a bungled baby uplift in May.
An internal Oranga Tamariki practice review has found the Ministry took the legal steps to uplift the newborn baby from Hawke’s Bay Hospital without trying to build good relationships with whānau members, explore options, or even find out that the parents had changed their lives since their first child was taken.
Des Ratima played a prominent role in the saga, negotiating with police and Oranga Tamariki to try to stop the uplift.
He says the apology offered by Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss isn’t good enough, because she still insists her staff were justified in considering the uplift.
The saga been devastating for the whānau, with not just parents but grandparents going through emotion trauma and persecution.
"I think there should be some financial compensation for the family because they’ve suffered indignity, a whole lot of irrepairable damage. I think there should be a home provided for this family, the minimum stuff we can do which really starts to reinforce the apology," Mr Ratima says.
He says Ngati Kahungunu is now looking at how it can deliver on its wero of not one more baby taken.
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