Funeral service for unidentified Mangere baby to be held today

7:44 am on 30 September 2017

A funeral service is being held today for a baby found in an Auckland park last year, with organisers hopeful the service will raise awareness around issues faced by some pregnant women.

Police guard the scene at Mona Ave in Mangere Bridge where the baby's body was found.

Police at the scene where the body was found last year. Photo: RNZ/ Bradley Ambrose

The baby's body was discovered in a reserve on Mona Avenue in Mangere last November, wrapped in a t-shirt with the words, 'Samoan Culture our pride and joy'.

Police have been unable to identify its mother.

Members of the Mangere community have donated everything for today's service, which is taking place at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery.

Mangere MP Aupito William Sio said the community had requested the service for the baby, which they have named Mona, to ensure he was treated with dignity and respect.

"We don't know who the parents of this baby are, the police could not find the mother but that's irrelevant for us in the community, this could be any one of our children."

Mr Sio said no one was judging the baby's mother and he hoped she would feel she could attend the ceremony if she wished.

The Labour spokesperson for Pacific Peoples Su'a William Sio.

Aupito William Sio Photo: RNZ/Daniela Maoate-Cox

"We're not the police, we're members of the community.

"If she does know about the funeral of this child... I believe that she needs to attend for her own well-being and for her to also bring closure to this sad part of her life."

He said it was important that anyone who found themselves in that situation, who was struggling with their circumstances, knew that love and support were available.

"She obviously did not feel safe, or did not feel that she would get the support either from the partner or the man that got her pregnant or from the family that she was with and we really need to acknowledge that that's a problem.

"We just can't afford, as a community, to see another baby found at the park or another girl pregnant that feels that she can't get the help from the people that she relied and depends on."

The ceremony will be held at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery from 12.30pm.

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