A man says he wants custody of his child, which will be born in prison after the mother-to-be was jailed on her eighth drink-driving conviction.
Tina Maree Hotene, 40, of New Plymouth, was sent last week to jail for a year. She is five months pregnant.
Child Youth and Family said yesterday they would remove the baby and revealed they had already taken four other children from her and placed them with other family.
Hotene was pregnant when arrested on March 17 after being found driving on Bank St with more than twice the legal alcohol limit.
Following the publication of the story in the Taranaki Daily News on Monday, father Tony Thurman was interviewed on Radio Live.
Thurman said he was Hotene's partner and the father of the baby, but they did not live together.
He was on a domestic purposes benefit and has the care of their older child.
Hotene's older children had different fathers, some of whom had abused her.
"She can be quite violent when she drinks," Thurman said, saying she had bipolar disorder.
Thurman agreed Hotene continued to drink "off and on" despite finding out she was pregnant on Valentine's Day.
But she would have only three or four bottles of beer and then stop for a feed, he said.
"She hasn't been half as bad since she realised she was pregnant," Thurman said. "She's had trouble for years but she's not as bad as everyone might think.
"She doesn't have to drink every day."
Thurman said the judge's comments that he would send her to jail to protect her baby were unfair.
Hotene could have been given home detention with conditions where she would not be allowed to drink alcohol and would be tested to ensure that happened, Thurman said.
If she were on home detention she could have continued seeing her alcohol and drug counsellor through the hospital.
"She seems to have got the short end of the stick," he said.
Thurman said he still loved her.
Hotene's baby, due in October, will be born in jail. She is expected to serve six months of the year-long sentence, so should be out before Christmas.
New Plymouth Family Violence co-ordinator Detective Sergeant Dave Beattie said once people had children their children must come first.
Life was all about choices and consequences, Beattie said.
"You would think by the eighth time [you were convicted for drink-driving] you would realise something was not working."
Beattie said he agreed with Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett when she said there were many more children than were known about who were living in abusive homes.
"For every incident we see there could be as many as 18 we don't get to hear about."
CYF had an enormous job trying to deal with the increasing numbers of referrals they were receiving.
In New Plymouth there were 1400 instances of suspected family violence that went across his desk each year, half of which involved children.
And CYF's referrals were four to five times what police were dealing with.