A man inside the Hawke's Bay Hospital room where an attempted baby uplift ended in a standoff says the Oranga Tamariki name has been "disrespected" and should be changed back to Child, Youth and Family.
Ngāti Kahungunu kaumatua Des Ratima said the children's ministry's actions in that room, and in many hospital rooms like it, had destroyed the meaning behind what was a "beautiful taonga".
"They are our whānau, our problems, our solutions, our way. Oranga Tamariki have occupied this space for too long and not brought the outcomes Māori seek.
"Not only should Oranga Tamariki give over the funding and the resources to Māori they must also return the name Oranga Tamariki, a beautiful taonga they have disrespected.
"Return to being CYFS, that is more in line with your achievements."
Ratima spent the night negotiating with police and Oranga Tamariki at Hawke's Bay Hospital in early May to prevent a newborn being uplifted from a young Māori mother.
The ministry ended up abandoning at least three attempts to take the baby from the mother in her maternity bed and she was instead allowed to go with her baby to a care facility.
The matter is set to be further discussed ahead of a new Family Court hearing next week.
Oranga Tamariki had raised concerns over family violence and drug use among the mother and father's whānau in the past.
Ratima says that's either wrong or out of date as the whānau has taken direct action to address them.
Oranga Tamariki deputy chief executive services for children and families Alison McDonald said the general disadvantage experienced by Māori can also mean that individual children are placed at higher degrees of risk.
"As a society, we should aim for zero children in care. But unfortunately, the reality is that until societal change happens some children and young people require protection from serious abuse and neglect.
"The aspiration of Oranga Tamariki is that children live with safe, stable, loving whānau.
"The reality is that we're taking fewer children into care – 10 per cent fewer children came into care in the last year, compared to the 12 months since the start of Oranga Tamariki."
For those Māori children in state care almost 80 per cent are placed into the care of whānau or Māori caregivers.
"Oranga Tamariki was created because the system wasn't working, and although we've made significant strides we understand that more needs to be done. It is important that communities continue to work together to give our children the lives they deserve," McDonald said.
Ratima, ONZM, JP, and the chairman of the Takitimu District Māori Council, said: "Oranga Tamariki are supposed to look out for the wellbeing of our children, a concept which is very dear to us.
"The name came about because for many years we relied on the state to help our troubled families.
"That was the understanding they conveyed to our Maori families - that 'we know better', but that is not the case.
"Pakeha way is to divide and conquer. Oranga Tamariki's focus is on the baby - the baby is condemned because the problem is the parents, the parents are condemned because the problem is the house, the family, the education.
"Our people are being divided. Babies in state care are being maltreated, mistreated ...
"Give them back to us."
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said there was never a guarantee that babies in state care did any better or were any safer.
"Removal of Māori children by the state, especially newborns, has disastrous consequences and it has been happening for generations, a situation that is now at a crisis point.
"Oranga Tamariki go through an unquestioned and assumed process of removing newborns from their mothers.
"Why should a country be satisfied that state care is safe? I am not entirely convinced that Oranga Tamariki are acting on good solid information when they think a child is in danger.
"We are witnessing a young woman with no power being threatened with her baby being taken away. There is no excuse for things getting to that point."