Oranga Tamaraki is refuting claims made by Ngāti Kahungunu iwi chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana that 22 children were taken from their whanau in the last school term in Camberley.

The ministry says a total of four children were uplifted from the Hastings suburb over that period. Two of those were taken by police and two were taken by Oranga Tamariki, it said.

But Tomoana is standing by his numbers, saying it is a "crisis" that the iwi is "just coming to grips with it".

Tomoana says his numbers came from talks with the Camberely Community Centre, Hastings' mayor, Hastings District Council's