Baby found dead at Auckland park laid to rest by community

A baby boy found dead at an Auckland park a year ago has been laid to rest.

The Mangere Pacific Island community raised funds to bury Mona as his parents have never been found.

The boy, whom the community named itself, was found at Mangere Bridge Park a year ago. He was found wrapped in a t-shirt with the slogan: "Samoan culture - our pride and joy".

Despite a wide search, his mother was never located. But the community still wanted to honour the boy's life and represent his family.

"It was important to stand in the gap on behalf of the mum, the grandmum and aunty," chair of the Mangere-Otahuhu local board Lemauga Lydia Sosene told Newshub.

A public funeral was held at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery on Saturday. Some hoped the parents may have been there to get some solace.

The coroner ruled the mother likely hid the pregnancy, and baby Mona was probably stillborn.

There is now a big push from the religious community to ensure young women feel supported, and for the older generation to have more understanding.

"It's not just us young women, but also the older community because it's like we try to get help but help is only there if a hand is leant out," Mangere Bridge resident Jacinta Toa says.

There have been similar cases to Baby Mona, and community leaders don't want to see it happen again.

"A couple that I recall is one where a Samoan woman abandoned a baby in the toilet of an airline. Another one is a Samoan young student of Otago University who threw out the baby from the window," Mangere MP Aupito Su'a William Sio said.

It started raining the moment the ceremony started and lasted until people began to leave.

Baby Mona was finally laid to rest, giving some closure to both the community and his parents.