A midwife has been forced to delete a heartbreaking post that detailed the horrors she witnessed people living through while working in a south Auckland hospital.
Danielle Hart-Murray, a former Middlemore Hospital employee, shared stories about families living in squalid conditions, women who had been impregnated by their relatives, and people suffering from infections, rickets and bronchiectasis.
In a Facebook post she said at times she used her own money to help families to buy important antibiotics.
She described young people living with "rickets, bronchiectasis from neglect, infections, damage from lifelong abuse and neglect, who have never had an education, have learning deficits because of it but also due to the environment to which they were subjected to in utero. Oh and they're pregnant to their much older brother potentially, or their father, who knows."
She spoke of a large family living in a single-car garage and said, "It's old, cold, there's no running water, rats and it's mouldy." She said a family lived in a van in a "dodgy carpark" and took turns staying awake to watch over the kids.
Ms Hart-Murray also saw a pregnant teacher who had to share a bed with two teenage boys, and said there were used needles and condoms on the floor, and a pile of used nappies and human excrement in a house that had no toilet.
"I don't think a lot of New Zealand is aware of what really goes on for so many people here in Aotearoa. It's a largely hidden shame we'd rather not see," she said.
Ms Hart-Murray said she had approval from her colleagues and HR staff members before she posted her original message online. But the Counties Manukau District Health Board told her to delete it citing privacy concerns.
She's currently not working because she's unwell, and said the post was intended to help people think about who to vote for this election.
"I thought I'd done a thing which would help people," she said after deleting the post.