Mum whose child was uplifted backs calls for Māori-led overhaul of Oranga Tamariki

A Māori mother whose child was uplifted is backing calls for a Māori-led overhaul of Oranga Tamariki. 

The mother, who Newshub cannot legally identify, says the uplifting process was "heartbreaking".

She believes the uplift was racially motivated: "There's no other way to describe it but it comes down to racism."

The disproportionate number of Māori children being taken into state care has sparked multiple reviews.

The Waitangi Tribunal told the Crown on Friday to step back and let Māori establish an independent authority to lead Oranga Tamariki reforms, after a scathing new report found it culpable of multiple breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The tribunal says the Crown has intruded on the ability of Māori to govern their own communities. It doesn't call for Oranga Tamariki to be abolished, instead tells the Crown to step back for the independent Māori authority.

Oranga Tamariki wouldn't do an interview but said in a statement the recommendations are significant.

However, those recommendations are not binding - so the next step's up to the government. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Friday acknowledged the "failings" of the state care system

"I have seen uplifts before. I know how traumatic they are to watch solely as a witness and I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a family member in the moment in time that a child is removed.

"Whilst I haven't always seen individual clips, I have generally seen uplifts, and I think the joint goal of all of us is to try and reduce and remove the need to uplift children altogether, but at the same time make sure that our children are safe."

Ardern said she had only just received the report and wanted to "give it the time that it deserves" by looking over the findings to decide how best to "rebuild" Oranga Tamariki.

But this mother is sick of waiting: "Stop saying you're gonna do it and just do it."

A simple call from a mother, who wants her baby back.