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Te Arawa challenges Children's Minister over uplifts

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A Te Arawa lawyer says Children's Minister Tracey Martin needs to do more to address the crisis in confidence Māori have about Oranga Tamariki.

The Minister yesterday met the iwi at Tamatekapua in Ōhinemutu in a hui arranged by local MP Tamati Coffey.

Annette Sykes says while Ms Martin was trying to follow through on the reforms of the child protection system started under National, the release of a documentary on the attempted uplift of a baby in Hawke's Bay had unleashed long-standing Māori grievances against the agency.

"This crisis of confidence has been around for nearly 30 years, since the closure of Mātua Whāngai, since the neoliberalism policies that absorbed any specific Māori arrangement for dealing with our own children into mainstreaming, and she was put on the spot," she says.

Ms Sykes says Te Arawa has experienced some extreme cases of family violence, and understands the need to build capacity within whānau to address it.

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