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Baby grab case an eye opener
Lawyer for Jean Te Huia, David Stone

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The lawyer on a Waitangi Tribunal claim over Oranga Tamariki's uplift of Māori babies says he was shocked by the nature and extent of the practice.

David Stone is acting for Jean Te Huia, one of the midwives involved in preventing the child protection agency from uplifting a week old baby from Hawke's Bay Hospital.

He says Oranga Tamariki staff seem to be implementing the law based on their own prejudices against Māori people who lack any power and don't know what their rights are.

Before receiving instructions in the claim he had not been involved in family court cases or family group conferences.

"When I saw that, I went home and I said to my grandmother this is what happened, the crown is taking Māori babies, and she said 'are we talking the 1920s or what?' and I said 'no, we are talking about half past one today.' She was shocked and I was shocked and everything I have learnt and heard and listened to over the past month has been an absolute eye opener," Mr Stone says.

He says it's almost unbelievable the crown can take people's babies without notifying them of court proceedings or involving them in the process.



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