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Anti-abuse marches for Moko planned

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/05/2016
Moko Rangitoheriri © Mediaworks Moko Rangitoheriri

Marches will be held around New Zealand in a bid to raise awareness of child abuse and try to reduce it.

Organisers of "I Will March for Moko" events in Auckland, Hamilton, Lower Hutt, Christchurch, Nelson and Oamaru are appalled at the story of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, who died of injuries inflicted while he was in the care of a Taupo couple who pleaded guilty last Monday to his manslaughter.

The case comes several years after the horrific death of three-year-old Nia Glassie, prompting child advocates to ask if lessons relating to child abuse have been learnt.

Karis Vesey, a mother of two, told Maori Television she decided to take a stand against child abuse and organise the marches after reading about Moko in Mother's Day.

"It is about time our nation, our people, ourselves get outraged enough to make a united stand.

I will march for Moko. Who's with me?" she says in a Facebook post.

In Auckland people will gather at Aotea Square at 1pm on Sunday to hear guest speakers before marching down Queen St.

In a statement released on Thursday, Coroner Wallace Bain said based on the information he had so far a large number of questions needed addressing. Those included the suitability of those who cared for Moko in the two months before his death, what checks were made on them and on Moko's safety and well-being while in their care.

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