Police probe death of baby in a bucket

The death of a baby taken to Buller Hospital in a bucket is now the subject of a police investigation.

The premature baby girl died at Christchurch Hospital on Friday, a week after her mother took her to Buller Hospital in a bucket.

Three detectives in Westport investigating the murder of Korean tourist Jae Kim have been assigned to the case.

Inquiry head, Detective Inspector John Winter, said the police involvement began after a paediatric pathologist conducted a post mortem in Wellington on Saturday.

"There are some issues arising out of that that require examination."

He declined to reveal what those issues were.

Mr Winter said he had asked the Westport CIB team to put the Kim investigation on hold and focus on the baby's death for at least the next 24 to 36 hours.

The Westport News previously reported the baby's 34-year-old mother apparently did not realise she was pregnant until she went to the toilet on June 20, and delivered the baby.

She arrived at Buller Hospital that night with the baby and its placenta in a plastic bucket.

Doctors and nurses worked frantically to save the infant who was later transferred by Solid Energy rescue helicopter to Hokitika, to meet a Life Flight team flown in from Wellington.

However, the baby's breathing and pulse stopped en route and she had to be resuscitated by a doctor and paramedic.

The helicopter then diverted to Grey Hospital. The infant was transferred to Wellington Hospital later that morning. Last week she was transferred to Christchurch Hospital where she died on Friday.

The baby's mother was at the hospital after being transferred from Grey Hospital.

- NZPA

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