'This is a disgrace' - Public health organisation criticises driver who kicked breastfeeding mum off bus

A public health organisation has sharply criticised an Auckland bus driver who reportedly kicked a breastfeeding mum off a bus service - and has offered to educate all bus drivers on why breastfeeding is good.


Jamie Deane was catching a bus from the West Auckland suburb of Henderson to Massey about 4.30pm last Friday when the incident occurred Fairfax reported.

Ms Deane said her daughter began to cry during the trip and, to calm her she started breastfeeding.

But a passenger reportedly took offence to this and complained to the bus driver, who then soon after stopped the bus on Makora Rd and Ms Deane said he requested her to get off.

Fay Selby-Law of Hapai Te Hauora says the incident was "simply unacceptable" and that "we should be supporting our mums to breastfeed, not shaming and stigmatising them".

"I can't believe a mum and her baby were left on the side of the road in this hot weather by a publicly funded transport company ... this is a disgrace."

Ms Selby-Law said breastfeeding helps to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and that there are many other positive health outcomes including reducing the risk of infectious diseases.

She said it is vital that mothers be supported in breastfeeding and offered to help Auckland Transport educate their staff and contractors.

"We offer our support to Auckland Transport as they take steps to ensure their staff and their subcontracted organisations appreciate the importance, and the legal right, of mothers being able to breastfeed."

NZ Bus, the service on which the breastfeeding incident happened, said they had not received reports of the incident but it would be investigated by them.