Human barricade at Waitakere Hospital stops newborn babies being taken from mothers

A human barricade at the doors of Waitakere Hospital has stopped two newborn babies being taken from their mothers. 

The group was responding to a call for help from one mother, who says she was handed a custody order the day after she gave birth. 

These are not the videos a family hoped to take in the first days of their babies' lives - people milling in a hospital corridor, waiting to hear if the newborn will be taken from its mum.

"It's been very stressful. I've had hardly any sleep all week since giving birth," one mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Newshub.

After reading her plea for help on Facebook, a group of community workers from Te Whānau O Waipareira came to form a human barricade at the doors. 

Their plan? To buy time to organise better accommodation and whānau support to prevent Oranga Tamariki from taking two babies from their families. 

"They shouldn't destroy families or take newborns if there's a community-based solution and in 5 minutes we've sorted both families," says John Tamihere.

With the uplift intercepted for now, what shocked this mother the most was that people cared to come. 

"I'm just very grateful to have all the support and whānau out there that have come together for me in the short timeframe," she told Newshub. "I didn't realise there was so many aroha out there." 

Tamihere says both mothers were really chipper on Friday morning "because for the first time, they saw a lot of people caring for them - not putting them down". 

It comes just days after the Children's Commissioner highlighted deep systemic issues in the state care and protection system - but Oranga Tamariki said that report ignored the interests of babies

Dame Naida Glavish says Auckland and Waitematā DHBs have told Oranga Tamariki they won't support uplifts from their hospitals. 

"It just walks in and does what it does, and there are some places it can do that - well, this is not one of them," she said.

One of the mothers admits she has had difficulties with alcohol and drug abuse in the past. 

"Professional support is what I've been needing and wanting," she said.