A toddler left home alone was found running down a highway at midnight after pushing her high-chair against a door to escape the house.
The three-year-old girl was spotted by a member of the public and picked up on Opaki Rd north of Masterton just after midnight on Friday.
Police say the girl's mother, 27, had left the house to visit a friend, with the girl waking up and going to look for her.
She had pushed her high-chair up against the back door to reach the door handle.
Acting Senior Sergeant Rob Rackliffe said the toddler appeared to be in reasonable spirits when found.
''It doesn't look like she was scared or crying or anything, it looks like she was just on a mission.''
The person who found the girl called police.
Officers then drove the girl along the road and she was able to point out her house, Rackliffe said.
But in the meantime it appeared the mother had come home and, finding her daughter missing, had gone out looking for her.
When questioned later the mother told police she had been out visiting friends for two hours, but had not meant to be away so long.
She was charged with neglecting a child and will appear at Masterton District Court on Thursday.
The girl was now staying with relatives, and Child, Youth and Family were involved, Rackliffe said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Family counts blessings after superbug scare (graphic content)
Have you moved cities recently?Related story: Kiwis like to shift cities - survey
The power of googoo eyes (pictures)
Google Now is the future
New season shows to look forward to
The vanilla Budget
A day of building in time-lapse video
So-called sweets I'll never eat again
A fascinated fear of bugs
Nintendo, whata you up to?
Messing with their heads
Daft Punk's brand new album
Navigating life as an intersex character
Wedding woe: Upgrading the ring