Māori mothers describe child welfare system as dangerous and brutal in new report

'I didn't even get to see him...'

Māori mothers of newborns involved with Oranga Tamariki say the child welfare system is dangerous, brutal and racist.

Their experiences have been detailed in a report from the Children's Commissioner, which was released today.

Judge Andrew Becroft is calling for fundamental change at the Children's Ministry, saying the system is racist and is being let down by some poor social work.
'I didn't even get to see him...'

The report Te Kuku o te Manawa is focused on how to keep Māori babies aged 0-3 months in the care of their whānau.

It gives a sobering and rare insight into the experiences of 12 whānau who have dealt with the state care system.

Of the 13 babies at the centre of the report, eight remained with their mum or parents but five babies were taken by the state.

"I'd been a mum from 16 to 24 and I didn't know anything else. I'd worked really hard and I was just in a really bad relationship and had severe depression and instead of being given support they took those children... they're keeping the kids forever and my whole heart broke in that moment and I just gave up," one mother said in the report.

The commissioner had earlier revealed Māori babies under three months old are five times more likely to be taken by the state than non-Māori.

But it is not just the disparity that is alarming - so too is the way the removals happen.

The full article: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/418477/maori-mothers-describe-child-welfare-system-as-dangerous-and-brutal-in-new-report


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