A family is demanding answers after their 20-month-old toddler died of a brain bleed after they picked him up unconscious from his childcare centre.
Beaudene Wi and Ricardo Miranda have told Māori Television's Native Affairs programme that they were not told that their son Lorenzo had fallen when they picked him up from Little Monkeys Preschool in Palmerston North last November.
"When he didn't come running to me I noticed that one of the staff members was holding him in, like, this sort of position. I sort of thought 'oh, that's not normal for Lorenzo to do that. He doesn't sleep like that'," Ricardo Miranda told the programme.
"I just knew instantly that there was something wrong with him."
Miranda told the programme that the preschool "thought Lorenzo had a fever and took his temperature but found nothing wrong with him".
But Wi said the boy's condition worsened badly on the way home from the preschool.
"It was only, I think it was two streets after leaving the driveway, I looked in the rear vision mirror and he wasn't breathing. And he was a horrible green colour," she said.
"We all started screaming and he didn't respond. He wasn't responsive at all."
They rushed him to Palmerston North Hospital but said the doctors initially thought he might have had a fever.
"At one point he woke up and he vomited. And the doctor said, see, could just be a virus," Miranda said.
"So at that point I was kind of like, well can we just double check? Because I don't want to play with this. This is not normal."
Wi told Native Affairs that she tried to ring the manager of Little Monkeys Preschool on a mobile phone without success to see if anything had happened to Lorenzo that day. She ended up posting on the centre's Facebook page.
"At that point we were trying to find out what had happened," Miranda said.
"I'd dropped him off to kindy. Nobody told me anything when I went to pick him up. So we had no clue, we were just handed over a baby that was just, had a brain bleed and we didn't know."
Wi said the preschool called back at around 10.30pm, almost six hours after the family arrived at the hospital and after Lorenzo had already had surgery to try and take some of the pressure off his brain.
"They were trying to remove the blood so he could get to Wellington for the surgery to remove his skull," Wi told Native Affairs.
"At that point he'd had a cardiac arrest and at that moment, they called and said, 'we've just heard about Lorenzo and he did have a fall today'."
The boy died at 4am the next morning.
Miranda told Native Affairs that doctors "could have worked a whole lot quicker than they did" if they had known from the start that Lorenzo had suffered a fall.
"We just want answers for why there were decisions made that resulted in this," he said.
Wi has created a poignant Facebook page in Lorenzo's memory, My new life without you. Beaudene Wi.
The Ministry of Education said it was notified on November 9 that a child who attended Little Monkeys Preschool had passed away in hospital.
"Police and WorkSafe investigated fully. The matter was referred to the coroner," the ministry said.
Ministry deputy secretary Katrina Casey said Little Monkeys was placed on a provisional licence while a full licence assessment was carried out after the ministry received a complaint on March 8.
"The service has complied with all licensing requirements and we have returned the service to full licence status," she said.
A police spokesperson said police "continue to make inquiries on behalf of the coroner to establish the circumstances surrounding the child's death. At this stage, no charges have been laid."
A spokeswoman for Coronial Services said: "This case is active before the coroner and investigations are ongoing."
A Worksafe spokeswoman said: "Worksafe is still considering the information we have to inform our next steps."
Little Monkeys owner Jenny Hall said by email: "The police have asked us not to comment as it is an ongoing investigation."