Pair responsible for Moko’s death to be sentenced today

NewsTalk ZB 27 June 2016
The death of Moko Rangitoheriri has sparked marches and demonstrations across the country, after details of how the three-year-old boy was killed were made public.

At the Rotorua High Court today, the pair who pleaded guilty to his manslaughter will be sentenced by Justice Katz.

Rotorua Daily Post reporter Stephanie Arthur-Worsop said details about Moko’s last days prompted a huge community response.

“When the summary of facts came out in the public arena, there was a lot of public outrage in what Moko went through, and that really was the big driver behind these marches.”

David Haerewa and Tania Shailer pleaded guilty to a summary of facts revealing the toddler was kicked, slapped, stomped on and bitten – leading to internal bleeding and septic shock from his leaking bowel.

Family First are one of the groups planning to be at the ‘Justice for Moko’ marches today.

National Director Bob McCoskrie said so there’s only so much the community can do and law changes need to happen.

He said when it’s obvious the injuries will cause death, the plea bargain for manslaughter should not be allowed because simply put – it is murder.

“It seems completely wrong that violent child abusers can get manslaughter when the child victim gets a life sentence, and the problem with the Moko case is that it continues to set a dangerous precedent for how we deal with child abuse.”

He said the finger is often pointed at communities to speak up but this time politicians need to reflect the revulsion the community feels.
READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/crime/pair-responsible-for-mokos-death-to-be-sentenced-today/

Protesters rally for Moko
NewsHub 27 June 2016
Thousands of demonstrators have rallied today, drawn together by anger over the death of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, the plea bargain taken by his killers and New Zealand’s child abuse statistics.

Thirty-seven meetings outside court houses have taken place across New Zealand, organised by the Justice for Moko group. The group says the aim is to unite New Zealanders to say “enough is enough”, and to push for changes to the country’s plea bargaining laws.

These rallies coincide with the sentencing of Tania Shailer and David Haerewa — the couple who pleaded guilty to Moko’s manslaughter — at the High Court in Rotorua.

The couple was originally charged with murder after they abused the toddler to death, but were offered a plea bargain deal, which reduced their charges to manslaughter.

“It is disappointing that the Prime Minister John Key says there is no need for a review of the way child abuse laws are implemented. The public do not accept that view,” said Family First at the Rotorua March for Moko.

“The message has to be clear — if you violently abuse a child in such a way that it results in their death, then it will be treated as murder.

“Violent child abusers should not get manslaughter when the child victim gets a life sentence. Moko’s case continues to set an ongoing and dangerous precedent for other child abuse cases.

“Children should not be part of a ‘plea bargain’.”
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/protesters-rally-for-moko-2016062619#axzz4CjT42lQn

Live: March for Moko – crowds seek justice over killing of toddler
NZ Herald 27 June 2016
As Tania Shailer and David Haerewa, the killers of toddler Moko Rangitoheriri, face sentencing today, crowds rally for an end to New Zealand’s child abuse record. Join the Herald’s live coverage of the marches below.

9.20am: The speeches are over and the crowd of about 200 people have started to leave Rotorua Lakefront and head to the High Court, many huddled under umbrellas. The crowd includes young children and babies in prams.

Lawyer and fomer list MP David Garrett has spoken to the crowd about plea bargaining and how it shouldn’t happen. He said given the facts of the Moko case, he believed any jury would have convicted them of murder.

The is a strong police presence at the Lakefront. One lane of Arawa St from Fenton St to the courthouse on the corner of Arawa and Tutanekai Sts is closed.

Family First director Bob McCroskie has addressed the crowd saying: “This is not the first time but we are here because this has got to be the last.”

10.15am: The Herald has copies of the speeches read out at the protests. Here is an abridged version of the speech delivered by Family First director Bob McCoskrie to crowds in Rotorua:

We are here for Moko. Justice for Moko. This is not the first time. But it has to be the last. So this is not the first time. But it has to be the last… There was Nia Glassie and then there was Moko. Have you had enough of these examples? So have I. We’ve had enough. Nia Glassie and Moko died eight years apart. Nia was shoved into a clothes dryer and hung from a clothesline. Moko was bitten by his abusers. Nia was kicked in the head, jumped on, spat on. Moko was choked, punched, kicked, stomped on. Both Nia and Moko were unconscious, unresponsive and suffering from brain damage before they arrived at a hospital. Both died at hands of what were called ‘caregivers’. This is not the first time. But it has to be the last.

At each protest a regional coordinator for the Sensible Sentencing Trust gave a speech but the message the same at each venue. This is an abridged version of the speech:

New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud. Our Aotearoa. Our beautiful country…. A country that brings us so many things to be proud of, but when it comes to child abuse we can only be utterly ashamed. In New Zealand, we have a problem and we need to acknowledge it. Our children are dying.

In the last 25 years abuse, neglect and maltreatment has claimed over 200 children, last year being one of the worst years on record. The stories are heart-breaking, the pictures are disturbing, the figures are confronting. Sadly, they are New Zealand’s shameful reality. Today, we are here to stand up. To stand up and show our country we are better than this. Our children deserve better. Today, we are here to stand up and say we won’t be ignoring it or accepting excuses.

The principle purpose of this nationwide rally is to set in motion a journey to stop New Zealand’s horrific and shameful level of child abuse and to demand that anyone- anyone – who abuses a child is punished, and punished severely… that does not mean allowing plea bargains to be part of the punishment. The ‘Justice for Moko’ WE demand today will not be carried out inside a courthouse but on the grounds outside courthouses all around New Zealand.

Moko, your death has united a nation in grief and horror at what happened to you and will be a catalyst for change. We want a country where kids are brought in to, and raised by family that wants them and loves them. Moko deserved and surely had a right to expect that? Instead, Moko was brutally beaten and tortured over a two-month period. He was bitten. He was stomped on. He was kicked. He was starved. He was dropped face first to the floor. He screamed in pain, so they covered his mouth to silence him. Even when he was so weak, he could barely walk, the swelling to his face was so significant he could hardly open his eyes, his little body completely battered, his (killers) continued to inflict pain and suffering.

Moko died from multiple lethal injuries, any one of which could have killed him. He was three years old. With the country united we will be doing everything in our power to ensure this never happens again. We are here today to demand change.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Our children are the next generation of parents. We need you to continue to stand up and say “enough is enough.” We need to stay committed and we need to be loud and clear that we will not be tolerating child abuse in our country. We DEMAND Justice for Moko.

Children cannot stop the abuse- but adults can. We can. You can. You stood up today for precious Moko, for all children – and for our country.

10.52am: Outside the High Court in Auckland speeches were followed by a roll call of children whose killers had murder charges plea-bargained down to manslaughter. Tears in Heaven played as 47 doves were released to cheers from the hardy crowd. Family First spokeswoman Bev Adair-Beets told a crowd of about 40 people that every child counts.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11664014

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