Families whose kids were taken by Oranga Tamariki gather for hui

Families struggling with the removal of their children by Oranga Tamariki will gather for a hui in Waikato on Sunday.

Organiser Lou Hutchinson claims that when a child is removed from a family, it is not always justified - which is having a detrimental effect on whanau.

She says Mother's Day in particular is dreaded.

"It's probably a day they really don't want to wake up and have to face - another day without their children, another day... wondering if they'll ever see their children again."

More than half of kids in state care who end up abused are Māori.

There have been calls for chief executive Grainne Moss to step down, with the number of Māori children being removed from their homes spiking under her watch - from 110 in 2015 to 172 in 2018.

Moss recently rated her organisation's performance a seven-out-of-10, which prompted scorn from Dame Tariana Turia, the former Minister for Whānau Ora, who gave her a three.

Hutchinson believes the separations are contributing to New Zealand's high suicide rates.

"It's leading directly to a suicide crisis across the country. It's affecting inter-generationally, from our grandparents through to our parents, other children."

She says it's important for families to gather on a day like Mother's Day. Struggling whanau will talk through their personal experiences with Oranga Tamariki at the hui, which will take place at Raglan's Kokiri Centre from 10:30am.

Hutchinson says these meetings are needed.

"We need to ensure that families that have had children uplifted or removed have support around them - they're not left isolated or in a position that could possibly lead to them taking their own lives."

She says violence and drug abuse is not always involved.

"Whilst the current Government are focused on historical abuses through the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and Faith-Based Institutions, they are neglecting the current abuse of children that is happening here and now in state care."

Where to find help and support: