Woman charged with neglecting young children

A 24-year-old Whangarei woman has appeared in court charged with neglect after police found four scared young children home alone on Saturday night.

Maraea Manu Gage, of Raumanga, did not enter a plea to four charges of neglecting a child under 18 years when she appeared in the Whangarei District Court today.

Police previously said officers had gone to a house in Raumanga 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.

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 were aged 6, 5, 2 years, and 8 months. Police arranged for Child Youth and Family to take the children.

By Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate