Jenna Lynch: Housing NZ's response to sewer-hole absolutely disgraceful
OPINION: No toddler should ever be waist deep in human waste.
But that's what happened because of inaction by Housing New Zealand (HNZ).
One-year-old Zyla Fox had to be hosed down after falling into a hole above the septic tank in her backyard.
That's traumatic. What makes it worse is her family has already been through enough.
The ground above the tank gave way when Zyla's family were farewelling her baby sister, who had just passed away.
The foot traffic at her tangi in the backyard was too much for the already soft ground, forcing the hole to form.
Zyla's mum Paula Backhouse had to bury her three-month-old. That alone is heartbreaking.
But HNZ has caused her even more pain.
The incident during the tangi was on the 4th of January - and more than a month later, HNZ still hasn't fixed the septic tank - in fact it took them over a month to even put a fence around it.
She rightly gave them a piece of her mind.
"I just said I shouldn't have to do this. I pulled my one-year-old out of a septic tank, she was waist deep in shit."
She's done her best - put a bucket in the hole and covered it with a bin lid, just to try and mask the smell.
"It's horrible, it's disgusting, the dump smells better than what that does," she told us.
The family was still living in the house until today. Offers of a motel only came once HNZ knew Backhouse was talking to us. The septic tank is also miraculously going to be fixed next week - again that call came after Backhouse went public.
It shouldn't take that. Raw waste is a health hazard and they've put an entire family's health at risk.
They're lucky little Zyla only went in feet first and waist deep.
Or Paula Backhouse could be having another tangi.
It's absolutely disgraceful.