More than half of children abused in state care are Māori

More than half of children abused in state care last year are Māori.

Two Oranga Tamariki reports for the safety of children in care have been released.

In total, 227 kids were abused over six months, from July to December 2018, with 335 incidents of harm.

A lot of the abuse happened at homes where children were being looked after by a family caregiver, or a parent caregiver.

Most of the cases were for emotional or physical abuse, but there was also a significant amount of neglect and sexual abuse.

Minister for Children Tracey Martin said there needs to be change.

"Every single number here is a person, that person we need to do our best by.

"I have reiterated to the Ministry that they need to be brave, we need to acknowledge this and then we need to move to change whatever needs to be changed to bring these numbers down."

The New Zealand Māori Council said the findings make it clear it's time for Māori families, communities and organisations to have a "brutal" conversation about abuse.

"There needs to be reform of the system, there needs to be greater investment, there must be a change in how state care works but we also need to be honest and say enough is enough," executive director Matthew Tukaki said in a statement.

"In no one's universe is it acceptable to hit a kid, smack a kid, throw a kid, shake a kid, enact violence against a child and no way in hell should any child die at the hands of a family member, of a parent or for that matter any one.

"We need to stop hitting our kids and killing kids," the statement says.