"no way" the babies would be removed from mothers on its hospital grounds
A Māori trust and a senior health board member claim they have stopped Oranga Tamariki taking children into state care at Waitākere Hospital this morning.
Dozens of people gathered at the hospital in anticipation of two children being taken into state care.
Waitematā District Health Board chief adviser tikanga Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish said the board decided last year it would not support the state's removal of babies from any of its properties.
She said there was "no way" the babies would be removed from mothers on its hospital grounds.
"We are here to support the mother and the baby and it is hopeful that with that support we find a solution for everyone," she said.
This week a report by the Children's Commissioner revealed harrowing stories of Māori mothers' experiences with social workers in the state care system.
Te Kuku O Te Manawa shared the experiences of mothers with newborn pepi, who have come to the attention of staff at Oranga Tamariki, and identified six areas for change including treating whānau with humanity, unprofessional social work practices, poor ministry support, racism, an unsupportive organisational culture and the need for iwi-ministry partnerships.
Glavish said Oranga Tamariki should work with Māori social services before removing babies from their parents.
"If Oranga Tamariki developed a better relationship with the Māori services, and Māori organisations on what they intend to do in terms of an uplift of a Māori mokopuna then it wouldn't have the problems that it is having but of course it is acting in what it calls it's own legal right and to hell with everyone else," she said.