Onehunga church offers to hold funeral for baby at Auckland recycling centre

An Auckland community has offered to hold a funeral for the baby girl whose body was found at a recycling facility last week.

The baby was found in the Auckland suburb of Onehunga on Monday evening last week.

Police are appealing for any information about the baby and have expressed their concerns for her mother.

Maungakiekie Tamaki ward councillor Josephine Bartley said it was very sad to think the mother felt she had no other support or options - and the community wanted to show they cared.

She had been contacted by St Peter's Church in Onehunga, which has offered to give the baby a funeral.

"That is exactly why Onehunga is such a great community," Bartley said.

She emailed the police to see what could be done but understood they were waiting for the family to come forward.

"If they don't come forward then I'm hoping they will let us do this for the child and also for the mother," she said.

"No baby deserves to be left alone like this and no baby is alone, no one is unclaimed.

The recycling plant where the body was found.
The recycling plant where the body was found. Photo credit: Newshub.

"Every baby deserves a beautiful send-off."

Bartley said there had been a huge reaction from people who were touched the funeral offer had been made, and any service would have to wait until the lockdown lifted so they could participate.

She hoped that would also create a way to connect with the mother and the baby's family, so they could get the support they needed.

"Reach out - no judgement, just reach out."

Police said they were aware of the community's offer and that finding the baby's mother and ensuring her wellbeing remained their priority.

A post mortem carried out last week determined the baby was likely a newborn.

Det Insp Scott Beard said last Tuesday they would not reveal specific details of the post mortem findings, but it had caused police to have further concerns for the welfare and health of the baby's mother.

"We will be carrying out DNA testing in the hopes this might lead us to the mother or at least to someone who might know who she is," Beard said at the time. "We must find the mother of this child and make sure she is okay. It may be that she requires medical treatment and without it, there could be serious consequences."

Anyone with information can contact 105 quoting file number 210816/2825 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.