Ngāti Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says the chief ombudsman's Oranga Tamariki report will not push the agency to make changes.
"I don't think Oranga Tamariki can change or self-correct. It is Māori organisations, particularly iwi who are best-placed to make change," Tomoana said.
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The report "He Take Kōhukihuki, A Matter of Urgency" published last week, was written following the highly-publicised attempted baby uplift of a 6-day-old baby from his mother in Hastings on May 6, 2019.
The report found that Oranga Tamariki was routinely taking newborns without whānau consultation, using emergency court orders.
It found that in most cases, Oranga Tamariki knew about the child before it was born, which was the best time to engage parents, whānau, and other parties.
Despite this, decisions were often made late, without expert advice or scrutiny and without whānau involvement.
That resulted in other options going only partially explored and, in almost all cases, a without-notice uplift application was made.
Tomoana said the report showed that Oranga Tamariki had acted "swiftly" to "get rid of cases" as opposed to giving them the importance and time they deserved, and without the involvement of iwi.
"It showed that babies were plucked off their mother's breast, without notice, leaving families and babies traumatised," he said.
"Start working with the whānau at 20 weeks rather than towards the end."
He said the report showed that changes needed to be made, changes which were "Māori-driven".
"The Māori approach is solutions-focused, solutions-based."
He said pressure would be put on the incoming Government to action the recommendations in the report.
Kaumātua and community leader Des Ratima, who helped stop the "uplift" also had concerns about whether the report would change anything.
"The report was an affirmation to all the previous reports which have been done," Ratima said.
"My real concern is how much weight would be given to the report to elicit change."
He said the changes which needed to be made following the report included the speed of transition from Oranga Tamariki to Māori.
"It's a Māori problem, Māori solutions, Māori way," Ratima said.
"The sooner Oranga Tamariki relinquish responsibility the sooner we can step in to help.
"Oranga Tamariki's solution [taking the child without Māori involvement] was the problem. It needs to be reset.
"We need to start at the beginning and look at it from the point of view that Māori are involved.
"I am not saying our people don't need help. We are saying we are now involved."
He said the report also highlighted that there needed to be an independent audit in place for actions undertaken by Oranga Tamariki.
"The whole process needs to be subjected to an independent oversight."
In response to Tomoana and Ratima, Oranga Tamariki's DCE governance and engagement Aphra Green said the agency recognised that Oranga Tamariki alone did not hold solutions for Māori.
"Which is why we are working differently with iwi, hapū and Māori community providers and NGOs," Green said.
"We are working earlier with whānau and seeing fewer children coming into care. For those who do need to enter care it is more likely to be in a planned way and less likely to be under a section 78."
She said it was important to note the vast majority of babies brought to the ministry's attention don't enter care.
As an example, in the two-year time period identified by the Ombudsman, Oranga Tamariki received Reports of Concern about more than 4000 babies under 30 days.
Only 9 per cent (360 babies) were subject to section 78 orders and about 7 per cent (280 babies) entered care under section 78.
"We know that whānau, hapū and iwi have their own aspirations for their children, young people and families, which is why we are working differently," Green said.
"At the core are new partnerships with iwi and Māori providers that are both driving and supporting the organisation to work differently.
Green also said the agency was investing in more iwi and Māori organisations than "ever before – up from 127 in 2018 to 139 in March 2020".
"Last financial year our funding to support development in Māori organisations increased by 30 per cent."
In response to independent audits, Green said OT was subject to independent monitoring by the Independent Children's Monitor, the Children's Commissioner and the Office of the Ombudsman.
Oranga Tamariki will report to the Chief Ombudsman every three months for the next year to monitor progress, she said.