Damning report into Oranga Tamariki reveals state discrimination, abuse of power

A six-month Māori-led inquiry into Oranga Tamariki has revealed systemic failings and discrimination in the organisation. 

The damning Whānau Ora report details stories from more than 1000 families about their dealings with the Government agency. 

One of those stories revealed 14 armed police officers were used by the agency to uplift a five-month-old Māori baby.

Those overseeing the review say it sheds light on state agency collusion, abuse of power and racial profiling.

Whānau Ora spokesperson Merepeka Raukawa-Tait told The AM Show on Monday the state is failing children.

"Unfortunately, this has been going on for such a long time," she said.

"This report is real voices - these are real families. This is the first time the families impacted by an uplift are telling their stories.

"What they said is that they're targeted - particularly young mothers."

She said most of those young mothers were once wards of the state themselves.

"The system is racist," she told The AM Show. "They've got policies and practices in place, that are racist, and have been there for such a long time.

"Unfortunately, they have become the norm and there is this acceptance that if you're a young Māori mother, that you're bad."

Oranga Tamariki will now break down the report, chief executive Grainne Moss told NZME.

In a blog post on Oranga Tamariki's website published on Thursday, Moss says they want to continue to transform the system.

"Even in a tough social environment, where much needs to change, the impact we've seen so far is significant and we're starting the new decade on a really strong base.

"As a result of the changes we've made already, we're in a better position in a number of important areas than ever before."