25 Apr 2009

Mother of abandoned newborn returns to Samoa

12:27 pm on 25 April 2009

A woman who gave birth on a flight to New Zealand, then abandoned her newborn baby in the toilet of the plane, has returned to Samoa, immigration officials have confirmed.

Earlier this month, Karolaine Maika, 29, pleaded guilty at the Manukau District Court to abandoning her baby in March on a flight travelling from Apia to Auckland. She was convicted and discharged.

The Department of Labour has confirmed she returned to Apia last Saturday, but will not say whether she had been deported, citing privacy reasons.

It is understood Ms Maika left without her baby, Grace, who is being looked after by extended family.