A Masterton man has been charged with assaulting a two-year-old boy who was in his care.
Police say the 39-year-old, who lives at the same house but is not related to the boy, was looking after him while his mother was at work.
The child was taken from Masterton Hospital to Auckland's Starship Hospital with serious head injuries. He is on life support in an induced coma and is in a stable condition.
Detective Senior Sergeant, Scott Miller said when ambulance staff arrived at the boy's house on Monday afternoon, he was unconscious and had bruising to his body.
The man accused of assault and another person were at the house at the time, and police said it appears it was the accused who made the initial call for the ambulance.
Mr Miller said the man appeared in the Masterton District Court on Tuesday on child assault charges and more charges may be laid.