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Call for the government to ‘stop stealing Māori children’

For immediate release

Māori lawyers, midwives, social workers and academics unite to call on the government to ‘stop stealing Māori children’

An open letter that has been signed by more than 7,000 New Zealanders in less than 48 hours is calling for the New Zealand government to ‘stop stealing Māori children’.

The letter comes just days after a Newsroom video was released that shows Oranga Tamariki attempting to forcefully remove a baby from its mother in a maternity ward.

The open letter was initiated by a group called ‘Hands Off Our Tamariki’ and among the signatories are a range of prominent Māori women including lawyer Khylee Quince, Professor Jacinta Ruru, social worker Paora Moyle, midwife Jean Te Huia and researcher Leonie Pihama.

The open letter calls for the government to put an immediate halt to the taking of tamariki Māori and for ‘the Ministry for Children be overhauled and restructured in line with Kaupapa Māori and strengths based approaches that ensure tamariki remain connected to their whānau’.

It asks that any future legislation and policies be co-designed with iwi and Māori, that all social workers be trained fully in regards to obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, that the recommendations of Puao-Te-Ata-Tū be revisited and implemented and that successful programmes such as Mātua Whāngai and Whānau Ora be resourced to enable Māori approaches to the wellbeing of tamariki and mokopuna.

A rally has also been organised by the group for Tuesday 30 July at Parliament.

To read the open letter in full: https://www.handsoffourtamariki.org.nz/

For more information about the rally: https://www.facebook.com/events/410698589765993/

ENDS

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