New Zealand to Halt Removal of ‘At Risk’ Children From Families

WELLINGTON—New Zealand said on Wednesday it will put a virtual halt to the practice of taking at-risk children away from their families, a policy that has long angered its indigenous Maori community. Children deemed to be facing harm have been moved into state care for decades despite Maori criticism that the process is racially skewed and a legacy of colonization. A vast majority of the children taken, a process known locally as “uplifting,” are Maori. Thousands of Maori took to the streets in 2019 in protest after media reports that the children’s ministry tried to take a new-born baby away from her mother in hospital. Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis said on Wednesday the government has accepted all recommendations of a ministerial advisory board on how to fix the child care and protection system. The ministry had been told that removing children should be used only as a last resort. “This …

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