Crowds converge on Parliament calling for change at Oranga Tamariki

Crowds have converged on Parliament calling for change at Oranga Tamariki. 

The group, Hands off our Tamariki, are demanding an end to the uplift of Māori children.

The topic of uplifts has been in the spotlight recently after Newsroom released a video
investigation in June showing officials from Oranga Tamariki - the Ministry for Children - at a Hawke's Bay maternity ward attempting to take a young Māori baby away from her family out of concern for the child's safety.

The group on Tuesday is delivering a letter to Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson. 

A number of people are due to speak, including Dame Tariana Turia and Māori lawyer Annette Sykes.

Crowds converge on Parliament calling for change at Oranga Tamariki
Photo credit: Newshub.

Earlier on Tuesday, acting Prime Minister Winston Peters told The AM Show Europeans shouldn't be solely blamed for grievances Māori have with Oranga Tamariki and the treatment of their children.

Hands Off Our Tamariki supports a new system led by Māori and their philosophies, attempting to keep at-risk Māori tamariki within the care of their family or hapu and working alongside the family to ensure a safe, positive environment.

On average, three Māori children are taken into care every week and that number is rising - while the rate of uplift for non-Māori is staying static. 

"What is front of mind is that the Government actually accepts that Māori can look after their tamariki and children and the problem that we have at the moment is that the state has done for 156 years a very poor job of looking after our tamariki," march organiser Rihi Te Nana said earlier.