Police launch homicide investigation after death of Gisborne toddler

Gisborne police have launched a homicide investigation into the death of a 19-month-old toddler - the second preschool child to suffer critical injuries in the city within a week.

The toddler was brought into Gisborne Hospital with critical injuries on Thursday, January 6, and was flown to Starship children's hospital in Auckland. The toddler died today.

A scene examination has been completed at a residential address in Te Hapara, Gisborne. Police inquiries into the nature and circumstances surrounding the child's injuries are continuing.

"Police are speaking to a number of people, but we would like to speak to anyone else who may have information that could assist our inquiries in determining how the toddler's injuries were sustained."

If you can help, they asked, please contact police via 105 and quote file number 220106/5689. Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

Meanwhile, Gisborne police have arrested a man after a 3-month-old baby was admitted to hospital on New Year's Eve.

The critically injured baby was brought into Gisborne Hospital about 10.30am on December 31 and was subsequently flown to Starship children's hospital.

The baby received critical care while at Starship and was flown back to Gisborne Hospital on Thursday in an improved condition.

"Police have arrested and charged a 24-year-old man with wounding with intent
to cause grievous bodily harm. He will appear in the Gisborne District Court
on Wednesday 12 January."

Police said the two cases are not related.

As this matter is now before the Courts, police said they don't have any further comment.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz said it was tragic news for a "close-knit community".

"Although I don't have any specific details on either case, we're a close-knit community so tragic news like this has an impact on us," she said.

"As a community, we need to make sure that our tamariki are safe and that whānau have the support they need, when they need it."

- More to come.

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