Police have apologised over their poor communication with the mother of an 11-year-old child who was assaulted by his father.
The Tauranga man, whose name is suppressed, was initially charged with assault on a child, but the police later downgraded the charge to common assault.
The man plead guilty and was discharged without conviction.
Police say they believe the child's account of a serious attack but did not think there was enough evidence to prove to a court that it had happened.
They say three adult witnesses, including the offender, contradicted the child's account.
Police admit they failed to explain the situation to the child's mother who complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority about their handling of the case.