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Plane birth mother deported, baby remains in New Zealand
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10:37, April 26, 2009

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A Samoan woman who abandoned her baby after giving birth on an Auckland-bound plane has been deported but her child remains in New Zealand.

An Immigration Department spokeswoman said that Karolina Maika,29, left for Apia last Saturday without her daughter Grace, The Dominion Post reported on Saturday.

She would not give further details, citing reasons of privacy.

A Child, Youth and Family spokeswoman said Grace would remain in Wellington, where she was being cared for by extended family.

Maika, 29, pleaded guilty in court earlier this month to abandoning a child, while police withdrew a charge that she assaulted the new born.

Maika was charged six days after cleaners found the baby in a toilet rubbish bin on a Pacific Blue flight from Apia to Auckland on March 19.

Maika was on her way to New Zealand to work as a kiwifruit picker when her daughter was born. She also has a son living in Samoa.

The court was told that Maika was ashamed she had conceived a child out of wedlock and had concealed her pregnancy from her family and the small Samoan village where she lived with her son.

She had planned to give birth while working in New Zealand as a seasonal fruit picker and leave the baby with her brother but went into labour while on the Pacific Blue flight from Apia to Auckland.

She was convicted but no further punishment was imposed.


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