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Ed Sheeran

State the baby snatcher under new rules

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Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says changes to state care will result in children being permanently severed from their whanau.

The Greens joined Labour and the Maori Party in voting against the second reading of a bill that will underpin the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children.

Ms Turei says its major flaw is that it removes the policy to find carers from within the wider family or hapu wherever possible.

She says it’s another way for the state to take Maori children off their parents - and part of the problem is a change made by the previous social development minister Paula Bennett which made it easier to take children off mothers.

"There’s been a significant number in the increase in the number of babies taken off mothers at birth and this new change will mean that many of these babies will not be returned to their whanau because there is no obligation to make sure that those babies have access, or any of the kids who are taken, have access to their whanau then basically they will be removed and removed for good," she says.

Metiria Turei says state care has not been safe for kids, and there is nothing about the legislation that gives her confidence that will change.

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