Detective Inspector Mike Foster says the critical injuries sustained by a 4-year-old Hawke's Bay boy are some of the most severe he has seen on a child in 30 years of policing.
Police continue to make inquiries into the incident that hurt the boy at Ramsey Cres, Flaxmere on January 29, and are seeking any further information which may help.
Foster, who did not want to elaborate on the exact nature of the injuries because it is an active investigation, told Hawke's Bay Today they were right up there with the worst of the worst.
"I would compare them to the injuries sustained by James Whakaruru," Foster said.
Whakaruru was beaten to death by his stepfather Benny Haerewa in 1999. The only part of his body that wasn't bruised were the soles of his feet.
Foster said the child in this incident remained in a critical condition in Starship Hospital and no one could say whether he will survive or not.
"At this stage, we just don't know, he's in a very critical condition."
If he does, he is likely to be severely disabled and brain damaged, Foster said.
A Starship Hospital spokeswoman said the boy was in a stable condition at 4.30pm on Tuesday.
Foster said the family of the boy had reported the incident to police.
"We are appealing to extended family, or anyone within the family who may have more information to come forward," he said.
Police have been speaking to a number of people in relation to the boy's injuries, but would ask anyone else who may be able to help, to come forward.
"We would urge people to do the right thing by this child and help us work out exactly what's happened," Detective Inspector Foster says.
"Please let us know anything that may help, no matter how small."