Family of toddler abandoned at Auckland Work and Income office found

Stuff 9 January 2015
The family of a toddler abandoned at a South Auckland Work and Income office have been found as family services say families are becoming increasingly desperate.
Police said this afternoon that the man who left the child at the Work and Income office yesterday had been identified.
The man had handed the boy to staff at the office and  left without providing any details.
The boy, thought to be about 20 months old, was  left with a bag with some  belongings, including a pair of shorts, a T-shirt and two long-sleeved tops.
Family First director Bob McCoskrie said he had never heard of a case so extreme, describing it as “sad and tragic”.
“It sounds like a desperate family who are in a really bad space and can think of no other solution,” he said.
“I’m hoping that the agency will wrap around the family as soon as possible.
“I don’t think any family would just drop a baby off like that if they weren’t desperate.
“It’s traumatic for the child as well. There are obviously some big issues going on in that family.”
It was important for families to know they had options and there was help out there for them.
“It’s important to know the system is working correctly so that the family are getting support and that they’re not isolated,” he said.
For the Sake of our Children Trust founder John Sax said many families were feeling stressed financially after Christmas.
“The Christmas season is a difficult time,” he said.
“There’s a pressure on merchandising, alcohol; all these things have a very unfortunate consequence on families. It should be a time of rejoicing.
“In this case, without knowing the circumstances, one would hope the father or mother can get great help by someone and the best possible outcome can be achieved for that precious little boy.”
Toddler dumped at Work and Income after big row  
Stuff 18 January 2015 
A toddler abandoned at an Auckland Work and Income office was a pawn in a domestic dispute between the mother and estranged stepfather, the man says.
Monday Poaiti says he is the man who left the toddler at the Manukau Work and Income office, and that the incident was a way to send a message to the boy’s mother.
Poaiti said he “blew up” after a heated argument with the toddler’s mother, his ex-partner, on the afternoon of January 8. He was looking after the boy that day and became frustrated and angry when she did not arrive to pick the boy up.
“I told her I would take him to WINZ. She texted me and begged me not to . . . but I said ‘you always do this to me’. She knew it was coming.”
Poaiti said he wasn’t thinking clearly at the time but had no regrets. “I know it was the best place for him. I knew they would look after him.”

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