A Hastings mother has been charged with causing her young child's death while driving under the influence methamphetamine.

Two charges were filed against Valencia Marie Skipper last month, but she appeared for the first time before a registrar at Hastings District Court this morning.

Skipper faces a charge of driving a car, on January 13, and causing the death of Saphire Skipper-Hira, while under the influence of methamphetamine.

This is a category three offence which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment or a fine of $20,000.


The 21-year-old is also charged that on that same day, she was driving after having been forbidden due to being an unlicensed driver.

This carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine.

The crash happened on Hawke's Bay Expressway between Omahu Rd and Flaxmere Ave when they were travelling in a Nissan Primera.

The child had been sitting in a carseat in the back seat of the car.

Immediately after the crash the highway was closed from Omahu Rd to Longlands Rd and traffic was diverted while crews cleared the crash site.

Skipper entered no plea and will return to court next month.

The fatality was the second death on Hawke's Bay Roads in 2016, following the year's first which was 20-year-old Bradley Charles Dobby from Waipukurau who died on January 3, near Waipawa.

Last year , 15 people died in road crashes in Hawke's Bay/Gisborne, four fewer than 2014.