The Minister for Children has today announced an inquiry into the processes undertaken by Oranga Tamariki concerning an attempted uplift of a baby at Hawke’s Bay Hospital last month.
The inquiry was announced after a meeting in Hastings today between Minister for Children Tracy Martin as well as Ngati Kahungunu Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana.
The meeting was initiated after the Hawke’s Bay incident on May 6th which was highlighted in a Newsroom Documentary this week, where Oranga Tamariki social workers repeatedly tried to uplift a baby from the hospital to the objection of the mother, her family and the midwife involved.
Ms Martin said the findings of the inquiry will not be made public because the family "did not have a lot of power to start with".
"This is their information. It is an internal review around what happened to them. There will be a level of information that will be shared with them and iwi but will not go public, because this is their journey," she said.
Ms Martin said the inquiry would be "led with the voice of whānau and there will be an independent person that Ngati Kahungunu is comfortable with as part of that process".
Ms Martin said she was sorry to see what had unfolded at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.
"Everyone in that room has been impacted negatively and we need to come back together and work constructively. Not just for this whānau, but also for the whānau of the future and the whānau that are in the process now," she said.
Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said he was pleased with the announcement of an inquiry and that it would be led by iwi.
"We're also pleased that Minister Martin and her department is keen for Ngati Kahungunu to design interventions to prevent this happening in the future," he said.
Ngati Kahungunu will also lead a group to hear stories from whanau about their experiences of the child uplift process and develop early intervention processes.