A 13-year-old boy was allegedly strangled, slapped and punched in the face by his mother and stepfather, who is also accused of supplying the teenager with cannabis.
A 39-year-old man and his 42-year-old wife were arrested by officers from the Auckland City police child abuse team last week.
The couple's names are not suppressed but the Herald has decided not to name them, to protect the identity of the boy and of another child who remains in their care.
The stepfather is accused of punching the boy in the face, kicking him in the ribs, strangling him and assaulting him with an extension cord.
The boy returned to live at the couple's Pt England, Auckland, home only after his grandmother died.
The family were known to Child, Youth and Family after isolated incidents over several years, but abuse could never be proven, the agency said yesterday.
Child, Youth and Family was unaware he had returned to live with the couple until the alleged assaults were reported to police.
The stepfather faces five assault charges and one of assault with a blunt instrument. The alleged assaults occurred between January last year and last month.
As well as the violence charges, he is alleged to have supplied the boy with cannabis last September.
The mother is alleged to have used a plank of wood, a broomstick handle, a kettle cord, a rubber Jandal and a cordless phone as weapons during assaults between last June and this February.
She faces five separate charges of assault with a blunt instrument and three of assaulting a child.
Court documents allege that between November 1 and December 31 she also punched, slapped and strangled him and pushed his face into the ground.
The Herald understands the 13-year-old was left unconscious after one of the blows to his head. He is now living with a relative.
The couple appeared in the Auckland District Court on Friday and were remanded on bail until April 16.
Their bail conditions include no contact with the boy and no alcohol consumption. They were forced to surrender their passports to court officials yesterday.
CYF's general manager of operations, John Henderson, said the family were known through a small number of isolated incidents over the years.
"Abuse has never been able to be substantiated. The boy has lived most of his life with his grandmother, where he was safe and protected.
"Only recently did we become aware that his grandmother passed away last year and he had returned to the home where he was allegedly assaulted. Since then, the boy has been living with relatives that he trusts and feels safe with."By Andrew Koubaridis @A_Koubaridis Email Andrew