The death of a one-year-old girl has become the subject of a murder investigation.
Stevve Ella Lawson was flown by rescue helicopter to Starship hospital on April 29 in a critical condition with head injuries and died on May 2.
Police had now confirmed the investigations into the baby's death had been upgraded to a homicide, the Herald on Sunday reported.
Detective Inspector Kevin Hooper told the Herald on Sunday Stevve had been living with her mother Ajhalia Trotter, and her partner, Todd King, near Wellsford, North Auckland.
Hooper said investigations to determine how Stevve's injuries were caused were ongoing and no further comment would be made at this time.
Trotter's lawyer Eb Leary told the Herald on Sunday Trotter shared custody of the baby with former partner Steve Lawson and Stevve had been in his care.
"Whatever has happened is not the fault of Ajhalia Trotter. I can tell you that fairly and squarely," Leary said.
However, when Fairfax Media contacted Leary today he refused to comment on the case.
Trotter's sister, singer-songwriter Avya Trotter, posted a musical tribute to Stevve following her death.
Avya Trotter said in the YouTube post called Stevie's Song, which went up on May 24, that on May 2 her sister's daughter passed away suddenly shortly after her first birthday.
"I started writing this song about her a couple of months ago.
"I could hear her laughing in the next room as I was writing it.
"Never did I imagine this would happen. The day after Stevie passed away I completed this song.
"Stevie was our sunshine. She was just so happy all the time. We miss her so much."