TODAY |

'Our babies are taken' - hundreds protest outside Parliament calling for end to Oranga Tamariki uplifts of Māori children

Hundreds turned out for the protest against Oranga Tamariki at Parliament today, calling for an end to uplifts of Māori children. 

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Numerous MPs met the protestors, who held signs saying, ‘Leave our tamariki alone’. Source: 1 NEWS

The Wellington protest was one of many held around the country.

Numerous MPs, from National, Green and Labour met the protestors, with Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis addressing the crowd.

"What you're asking for is exactly what we're offering," Mr Davis said. He was met with shouts of disagreement.

"Our babies are taken," a woman in the crowd called out.

In June the Chief Ombudsman confirmed the launch of an investigation into uplifts by Oranga Tamariki.

Today, Dame Tariana Turia spoke to the Wellington protestors, telling them "within whānau, hapū and iwi, that is where the placement of tamariki should be". 

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Four inquiries have been launched into Oranga Tamariki. Source: 1 NEWS

"For too long, we've allowed others to take control of our lies, particularly those of our whānau members."

Green's Chlöe Swarbrick, Golriz Ghahraman, Jan Logie and Marama Davidson, National's Harete Hipango, Louise Upston and Lawrence Yule and Labour's Kiri Allan, Paul Eagle, Kelvin Davis, Meka Whaitiri and Rino Tirikatene were in attendance.

Signs saying "hands off our tamariki" and "stolen children", as well as Māori Party flags and Tino Rangatiratanga were held. 

Further north, a small crowd also gathered outside Oranga Tamariki in Napier.

About 40 people gathered in an inner city park for a sausage sizzle, with councillors on hand to help with any issues.

Cherie Kurarangj-Watene organised the event, stressing both sides needed to come together to solve the problems with child uplifts.