6 Sep 2019

Two people arrested as Oranga Tamariki take baby

3:36 pm on 6 September 2019

Two people were arrested during the taking of a newborn baby by Oranga Tamariki at Auckland Hospital.

Police standing in the room with the family at Auckland City Hospital.

Police standing in the room with the family at Auckland City Hospital. Photo: Facebook/Supplied to RNZ

A family member posted footage of the incident on Facebook, showing at least six police officers in a room at the hospital while the family surround the mother and baby.

Officers can be heard warning family members they would be arrested if they continued to get in their way.

Police confirmed two people failed to comply with police instructions and were arrested for obstruction. They have been released without charge.

In a statement, Oranga Tamariki's deputy chief executive of services for Children and Families North, Glynis Sandland, said bringing a child into care was always an incredibly difficult and emotional situation for families.

"It is never easy, but ultimately Oranga Tamariki under law has an absolute obligation to the child and their wellbeing," she said.

"Our role is to keep children and young people safe. Sometimes, this means that a child needs to be removed from an unsafe environment but this is never done without the Family Court first determining that all other avenues have been exhausted."

Ms Sandland said they were unable to go into specifics about the case.

"While footage has been shared on social media, the whānau have not given permission for their private information to be discussed publicly. We also have an obligation to protect the identity and privacy of the child."

She said filming of the incident affected engagement with families at a highly sensitive time.

Oranga Tamariki has been the subject of widespread criticism recently, after footage emerged of the attempted removal of a newborn from its mother at Hawke's Bay Hospital.

Four inquiries have been launched following public outrage and protests.