A 4-year-old boy critically injured in a suspected case of child abuse had previously been admitted to hospital with broken bones and removed from his immediate family.

The boy, who will likely be permanently brain damaged if he survives, was admitted to hospital late last month, after police were called to a family violence incident at a property in Ramsey Cres, Flaxmere, where they found him badly bruised and suffering from a severe head injury.

It’s unclear when the injuries were sustained or over what period, but police believe they’re the result of abuse – among the worst the detective in charge of the investigation has seen inflicted on a child in his 30 year career.

Detective Inspector Mike Foster, who’s leading the police investigation, said the boy had been subjected to a sustained beating and received extensive injuries across his body.

He was admitted to hospital on at least one other occasion, with injuries including broken bones.

Oranga Tamariki intervened and the boy was placed into the care of wider family. He was returned to his immediate family shortly before Christmas.

It’s unclear why.

[…] “What’s even more sad is he is not the only child in Starship [Hospital] who is suspected of being beaten, and a 5 year old is dead.

“This violence against our children is what we need to address as a country.”

[…] It was less than a year ago that an Oranga Tamariki uplift of a baby boy at Hawke’s Bay Hospital in Hastings sparked a national outcry about the organisation’s practices and whether children should be removed from their family in some situations.

Des Ratima, chair of the Takitimu District M?ori Council, who is involved with the “Not one more baby” movement that followed Oranga Tamariki’s controversial uplift of a baby at Hawke’s Bay Hospital last year, said he stood by that call.

Ratima and Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana objected to Oranga Tamariki’s actions over the attempted uplift of the 7-day old baby boy and together said “Not one more child will be uplifted and iwi will intervene at all costs”.

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