A Bay of Plenty man has been arrested and charged with inflicting permanent and severe brain damage on a four-month-old baby.

Police said the baby boy was admitted to Starship Hospital in Auckland with near-fatal non-accidental injuries on April 29.

It was not clear at the time of the baby's admission whether he would survive.

Officers arrested a 38-year-old man in Auckland yesterday and charged him with inflicting grevious bodily harm and eight other charges including male assaults female and assault with intent to injure.

He briefly appeared in Manukau District Court this afternoon.

Area Commander for Eastern Bay of Plenty Inspector Sandra Venables said the baby was now off life support, but the extent of his brain damage was not yet clear.

"The nature of the baby's injuries were such that a police investigation was launched, and subsequently charges have been laid.

"These are very difficult and complex cases, that take a toll on everyone involved including the whänau of the child, those working in our partner agencies, medical staff and police."

No further details about the baby's injuries or how they were inflicted would be released while the case was before the courts, Ms Venables said.

She appealed to anyone who was experiencing family violence to speak to police to prevent another similar case.

"If you or someone you know needs help, please talk to Police, your doctor, a family member or friend, or anyone else that you trust. Please tell somebody what you know, and together, we may be able to prevent another sad case."

The baby was admitted to Starship just a day after six-month-old Ngaruawahia baby Serenity-Jay Scott-Dinnington died in the hospital's paediatric intensive care unit.

Her life support was switched off on April 28 after she failed to recover from non-accidental injuries inflicted in what police called a "very violent" attack.

A 10-week-old Hawkes Bay baby also suffered "significant" non-accidental injuries in early April.

The young boy was transferred to Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital after being taken to a local GP by a family member.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Greig said investigators would be speaking to the child's family, who had recently moved to Hawkes Bay from Wellington.

Child, Youth and Family received 124,921 child abuse complaints last year, compared to 50,488 notifications in 2005, Ministry of Social Development figures show.

- NZ Herald staff