Investigation Into Auckland Train Guard Freakout Over Breastfeeding Mum


Veolia has conducted a “full investigation” into the case of an Auckland mother breastfeeding her child on board and the train manager/guard freaking out.

The case was reported on Donnelle Belanger-Taylor’s Stuff blog in which she wrote:

I started breastfeeding him, this being what you do with hungry babies.  Suddenly the passenger operator freaked out.  He finally asked the passengers to move, since we could not sit there!  We had to move!  It was for security reasons!  We had to move now!

I asked him to wait two seconds, as I knew Finn was nearly finished.  The PO pulled the pushchair with Vieve asleep in it away from me and the door, then left it in the middle of the aisle without the brake on, leaving me to try to detach Finn hurriedly and discreetly, stand up on a moving train with a baby on my hip, stop the pushchair rolling away with my foot, lift up a seat and secure it, and park the pushchair.

The blog got an angry response, gathering over 200 comments and the issue soon went viral.

Veolia received a number of complaints, including from Eden-Albert Community Board chairperson Christopher Dempsey.

The company’s manager of customer service, Tessa Marjoram, said that because it was a staff issue, for “confidentiality reasons, I am unable to advise you of the outcome of our investigation, but I would like to assure you that this matter has been treated with seriousness.

“Veolia Transport staff members undergo comprehensive Customer Service training and must adhere to strict protocols regarding customer service and employee behaviour.

“Veolia Transport will follow due process and take the necessary disciplinary action against any employee who is found not adhering to these.

“We aim to treat all of our customers with respect and care, and apologise that this did not occur in this instance.

“A full investigation has been undertaken with the staff members concerned.”

She then gave the standard:  ”Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you due to this incident and I do hope that the next time we will be able to offer a better level of service.”

It seems Auckland staff are not alone in their attitude to mothers.

Britain’s Daily Mail reported at the weekend that a 30-year old mum and her friend were boarding a Northern Rail train when confronted by a conductor.

He told them children in buggies were not normally allowed, but he would make an exception.  While on board, she asked him to explain the company’s policy.

She said: ‘I asked him what we’re meant to do if we have children in buggies.”

‘He said: “I’d stop having kids if I were you.”

SEE ALSO: Passengers get angry about pushchairs on board

Why Mums and disabled give up using public transport





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