Protestors unite outside South Auckland branch of Oranga Tamariki

A small group of protestors gathered outside Auckland’s Otahuhu branch of Oranga Tamariki today, demanding change and protesting the uplifts of Māori babies.

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About 15 people gathered to protest against the uplift of Māori babies. Source: 1 NEWS

A protest march to Parliament is also planned on July 30 to speak out against the practice of babies being taken from mothers by the state.

The rally was agreed at a weekend hui which also called for a Māori-led inquiry into Oranga Tamariki and demanded that "not one more Māori baby be taken".

It follows a media investigation which showed footage of a newborn being uplifted from a mother in hospital.

Rachel Taylor, who attended the hui, was present at the Otahuhu protest and spoke to 1 NEWS.

She said she is confident the system will change.

“We are here to stand and be the voices of our children and the parents - the family,” she said.

“It always has to and is always going to be, family first. That’s what we must implement,” she said.

Oranga Tamariki said in a statement that groups have "every right to protest."

"We acknowledge the protest in Otahuhu today, and we accept that people will feel strongly about these issues.

"These groups have every right to protest, and we ask only that they are respectful when taking this action.

"Our staff come to work every day determined to do their absolute best to keep children safe, and them help them thrive and reach their full potential.

"Protest action can be confronting and upsetting for staff, as well as tamariki, whānau and partners visiting our sites and offices. Our first priority is their safety and wellbeing," the statement said.

"Oranga Tamariki will be happy to embrace ways of working more effectively with whānau, iwi and everyone involved in the care of vulnerable children."