Police are investigating the death of a newborn baby found at the back of a Hutt Valley property.
Hutt Valley inspector Shane Cotter said a woman discovered the newborn baby girl, wrapped in a towel, at the back of her property on Taita Drive around 10.30am yesterday.
"Obviously the resident was shocked and distressed at what she had found," said Cotter.
"Our biggest concern at this time is the health and well-being of the mother of this baby girl and whether or not she has received any immediate medical attention post birth."
Cotter said the baby girl appears to be no more than a day old.
Police will carry out a post-mortem examination on Wednesday to determine whether she was alive at the time of her birth.
Cotter said the mother may have concealed her pregnancy from family and friends.
"We appeal to anyone who may know a woman in the Hutt Valley area who has been large and lost a significant amount of weight in the past couple of days. It's important this woman receives the medical attention she requires as soon as possible," Cotter said.