The family of a young boy assaulted in Flaxmere were working with Oranga Tamariki before a brutal beating left the four-year-old fighting for his life.
The child was beaten possibly over a number of days at a home in Ramsay Crescent two weeks ago.
"We can confirm that Oranga Tamariki has been working with this family previously and the situation involves challenging circumstances," Alison McDonald deputy chief executive of Children and Families South told Newshub.
"In general, the factors that lead to violence against children are seen by our staff every single day," she said on Thursday.
"Family violence, drugs or alcohol are present in almost all cases."
Oranga Tamariki described his injuries as "extremely disturbing".
Although now stable in Starship Hospital, the young boy will be severely brain damaged as a result of the violence, according to Detective Inspector Mike Foster.
Foster said the injuries were the worst he has ever seen on a child in 30 years of policing.
Police are making inquiries into the assault and urging people to come forward.
"We would urge people to do the right thing by this child and help us work out exactly what's happened," he said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Please let us know anything that may help, no matter how small."