Kiwi mum leaves children home alone to travel overseas

A woman left her pre-teen girl home alone and told her to look after her young brothers before heading to Australia.

She told her daughter through a text message that she was leaving, telling her not to forget that she was an amazing girl.

Her ex-partner alerted police after finding out through an email that the mother had left.

"The defendant had told no-one of her plans to leave and had made no arrangements for anyone to look after her children," police said according to Court News.

Police headed to her home in Canterbury to find the children, who were scared and hungry but not harmed.

The 31-year-old returned from Australia after two weeks and was charged with ill-treating or neglecting the children.

She pled guilty at the Christchurch District Court, and was given name suppression to protect the identities of her children, Court News reports.

The woman won't face a penalty unless she reoffends, and she has had counselling.

A police officer told the court there'd been "an awful lot going on in the last decade of her life".