Four children - all under 7 - left home alone on Saturday night were found scared and crying when police went into a Whangarei house.
Police confirmed the children, aged 6 years and under, were all in Child Youth and Family care yesterday until a family meeting could be arranged.
Acting Sergeant Andy Hunter said officers went to the house in Raumanga about about 8pm on Saturday for an unrelated matter.
When they opened the door the children were found crying, with the oldest a 6-year-old girl, telling them she had been told not to open the door for anyone.
Mr Hunter said officers noted there was no food in the fridge or cupboards, there were allegedly utensils for smoking cannabis in the kitchen and reported that the toilet was blocked and filled to the top.
There was no heating and the children did not have enough clothing on to keep them warm, police said.
The children are aged 6, 5, 2 years, and 8 months.
Officers arranged for Child Youth and Family to take the children and when they left at about 9pm no adults had turned up at the house.
Mr Hunter said a woman contacted the Whangarei police Station about 11pm when she discovered the children were not at the house.
A 24-year-old Raumanga woman faces four charges of neglecting a child under the age of 18 and appeared in Whangarei District Court today.