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Plane birth woman charged

Filed under: General — Vman @ 3:15 pm Wed 25th March 2009

The woman who gave birth to a baby on an international flight from Samoa to Auckland has been charged with abandoning the baby girl and assaulting her.

The 29-year-old Samoan woman’s baby was now in the care of Child Youth and Family (CYF) and the woman due to appear in the Manukau District Court today.

Police today announced the woman had been charged, six days after cleaners found the baby in a toilet rubbish bin on a Pacific Blue flight from Samoa to Auckland.

The mother apparently was on her way to New Zealand to work as a kiwifruit picker when her daughter was born.

The infant was found after the woman had left the aircraft. The mother and baby were both taken to Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland.


  1. Why charge the woman? I believe she should have her baby returned to her, then placed on the next plane back to Samoa. With an infant, she clearly cannot perform the work she came here to perform!

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 25th March 2009 @ 4:15 pm

  2. May be the woman is running away from honour killing or shame or what not.
    May be she was raped…

    We should not jump to conclusions.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Wed 25th March 2009 @ 5:30 pm

  3. From the Journal of Perinatal Education:

    “Occurring in primitive and contemporary societies, the motivations for newborn abandonment are varied (Meyer & Oberman, 2001; Rascovsky & Rogers, 1995). Economic factors are often cited as a contributing factor to this phenomenon and include poverty, population control, class structure, greed, profit, and exploitation of labor (Bloch, 1988). Political climate and ideologies or philosophies of racial and ethnic superiority also play a role in a woman’s decision-making process when she is faced with an unwanted pregnancy and has limited options available in managing the situation (Green, 1999; Rosner & Markowitz, 1997). Psychological disorders and mental instability also account for a portion of the incidents in which newborns are left in public places, disposed of in dumpsters and toilets, or occasionally mutilated or murdered (Bonnet, 1993; Long, 1993; Oberman, 1996). Religious beliefs, both in ancient times and in modern day society, provide a moral basis for human action and shape the paradigm of what is acceptable behavior in a given society at a particular point in time (Rascovsky & Rogers, 1995). Some religions have practiced human sacrifice of infants, while others have forbidden abortion and murder.”

    Comment by achurch001 — Thu 26th March 2009 @ 6:21 am

  4. What I would like to see and happen is a system which will work to help this woman reconnect with
    her baby so she could give the baby the care it deserves.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Thu 26th March 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  5. With PCspeak like that Tren, have we a chance? As I said, there is a strong probability the baby was conceived in NZ. Was the Father an ethnic New Zealander?

    I still believe that she was engaged by falsifying her personal details (I.E. Pregnancy Status) In the wirkforce this is grounds for instant dismissal. The Father MUST have some input into the outcome for baby, especially if he is a NZ citizen. In the meantime, The mother leaves behind another hospital account for the NZ taxpayer to pick up. I believe she should be deported, and not permitted to return until that account is paid. She clearly does not want the child. Who are we to challenge those wishes.

    If the father cannot be traced, the Samoan community is renown for caring for their young.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 26th March 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  6. A baby was deliberately assaulted moments after being born in an aircraft toilet on a crowded Polynesian Blue flight from Samoa, police say.

    Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said “baby Grace” was born after the plane landed at Auckland early on March 19 and was found by airline staff after all the passengers had disembarked.

    It was understood Grace had been shoved in the toilet rubbish bin and was found by a cleaner.

    The mother who was charged yesterday with abandoning a child under the age of six and assaulting her was detained in the airport and taken to Middlemore Hospital with her baby.

    Mr Gutry would not give details of the baby’s injuries, and would say only that they were not serious and Grace would not suffer any long-term effects.

    There was evidence the injuries were caused after the birth and that they were deliberate, he said.

    The mother, a Samoan, appeared in Manukau District Court yesterday. She was remanded in custody without plea and ordered to reappear on April 9.

    The woman, 29, who has another young child, was granted interim name suppression.

    Mr Gutry said the mother had left a child in Western Samoa and had come to New Zealand as a seasonal fruit picker. She was travelling with a group of 72 people who were all permitted to work for the same employer.

    Police believed the woman knew she was pregnant before boarding the plane, but said he was not certain if she was in labour when she took her seat.

    Police had asked that she be held in custody till she had the medical treatment she needed and it was known where she would go if freed on bail.

    “She is now getting all the help she needs,” Mr Gutry said.

    Grace had been placed in the care of Child, Youth and Family with the mother’s consent.

    CYF regional director Marion Heeney said the department would work with family and other agencies involved to determine what was best for baby Grace

    Comment by Dave — Thu 26th March 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  7. You are right Tren.
    No one here knows her circumstances.To do what she did she must have been really desperate.
    The kindest thing and what the NZ police should have done was to put her and her baby on a flight back to her family.Now this baby is in CYF’s care.
    Where to from here? Foster home after foster home…….
    Until she becomes another sad NZ statistic.

    Comment by Rosie — Sat 28th March 2009 @ 7:59 pm

  8. Why is it that when a mother behaves this way people immediately make excuses for them?
    Would people do the same if the father behaved this way?
    This is what PC brainwashing does to people.
    No one can seriously be proposing that attempted infanticide is excusable in modern Samoa.
    If a modern day Fijian indulged in a little cannabism would cultural excuses be made for that too?
    I can understand people wanting to send mother and baby back to Samoa. The mother should certainly be deported. However I think as a civil society we need to make sure the baby will be safe with the mother or the father or both. I can’t see how anyone could consider the child to be safe with the mother. I agree the child isn’t exactly safe if passed along a string of foster homes by CYFS either. Hence someone needs to research what options there might be for a good outcome for the child.

    I don’t know if this child is legally considered to have been born in NZ. My personal view is that this child was born in NZ and therefore is a NZ citizen. Hence (in my opinion) the baby is entitled to someone in NZ taking great care with deciding his/her future.

    Comment by Dave — Mon 30th March 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  9. If only we could have faith in the agencies we pay for to deal with such matters, that they would make sensible decisions with real awareness about the best interests for the child. Unfortunately, we are a long way from that.

    It is true that we don’t know the circumstances. If the child was conceived to a man from certain races, this woman’s family may reject or harm the baby. However, some enquiries should be able to ascertain such matters, and it is quite likely that her extended family will be the best people to make decisions.

    Comment by blamemenforall — Mon 30th March 2009 @ 3:14 pm

  10. Dave well said.

    Comment by Scott — Mon 30th March 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  11. I ask everyone to reflect for a moment and answer this question:
    What would you have done if, you and the woman, where the only 2 people present on this planet and you witnessed her give birth and then… dispose of her baby?

    Answer: You would have taken the baby and brought it to the woman and talked her into breast-feeding IT. You would have told her it is Ok baby look at the little one is not she cute, you would give her a cuddle. You see you are a good man with all its human attributes. You are not an animal. You became one after the advent of cyfs, women’s refuge, family court and
    their armies of specialists

    What I find wrong with fathers movements and men’s movements is instead of trying to liberate themselves from the slavery brought about by false feminists of the ilk of women’s refuge they waste all their efforts into leveling the field by applying their misery to women. If men are served protection orders like lollies to men because of a corrupt and incompetent family court, some voices here want the court to serve protection orders like lollies to women too. That is the wrong battle. We are not men against women, women against men. Instead enlist women in your fight against a system that uses children as its business fodder, a ssytem that lives children traumatized for life.

    Comment by tren Christchurch — Sun 5th April 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  12. The number of men that the state abuses is low in number, that is why we have not much political traction. The majority of divorces are not with Bad abusive women who insist on going to court/using false violence accusations/being generally evil. Maybe only 10% of fathers are treated like this by the state, BUT ALL MEN/FATHERS POTENTIALLY WOULD BE DEALT WITH BY THE STATE LIKE WE HAVE BEEN.

    Comment by martin swash — Thu 16th April 2009 @ 3:18 am

  13. I have another viewpoint on this.
    Because men by virtue of the nature of the jobs they take and the sacrifices
    they make to climb the career ladder earn higher salaries on average than
    women they consequently pay more tax whilst dying about two election cycles
    younger than women.
    However when we look at the amount of state funder (taxpayer’s money) spent
    on women compared to men there’s a very clear picture.
    Women get a raft of health, welfare and educational support that men can
    only dream of.
    The only area I can think of where more state money is spent on men is the
    penal sytem (labelled by some as the men’s shelter movement!)which seeks to
    rehabilitate many men from the most horrific backgrounds of abuse and neglect –
    another cultural legacy of our ‘caring’ for males.
    The overall picture for men I get then is one of taxation without representation.
    To me that means being exploited by a social system which too often ignores men
    andfavors women.
    A social system which does so can be said to abuse all it’s men.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 16th April 2009 @ 6:23 am

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