Auckland mothers march for Moko

Three-year-old Taupo boy Moko Rangitoheriri, who died after being subjected to two months of child abuse.
SUPPLIED

Three-year-old Taupo boy Moko Rangitoheriri, who died after being subjected to two months of child abuse.

An Auckland mother is taking to the streets to march for Moko on May 22.

Karis Vesey​ has been following the case of Moko Rangitoheriri​ and decided enough was enough.

"The nation needs to wake up about it. New Zealand has the fifth worst child abuse record in the OECD and it's not OK," she says.

Tania Shailer and David William Haerewa pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 2 for the death of three-year-old Moko ...
MATT SHAND / FAIRFAX NZ

Tania Shailer and David William Haerewa pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 2 for the death of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.

"To march is not just about getting the Government, but people to take responsibility for their kids."

Vesey is a support worker at Women's Refuge and has organised a march in Auckland which has empowered mothers around the country to organise marches too. 

Moko Rangitoheriri was subjected to repeated child abuse by his carers for two months prior to his death.

Karis Vesey is marching for Moko on May 22.
CATRIN OWEN/ FAIRFAX NZ

Karis Vesey is marching for Moko on May 22.

He was hit, kicked, bitten, thrown, dropped and stomped which led to his death in Taupo Hospital on August 10, 2015.

His carers David Haerewa and Tania Shailer pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 2 and will be sentenced on June 27 at the Rotorua High Court. 

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is aiming to ensure the death of Moko is not in vain. Founder Garth McVicar says the trust would turn Moko's death into a catalyst for change.

"The assaults were premeditated and prolonged fitting all the criteria for murder.

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"The fact the Crown has accepted a guilty plea of manslaughter smacks of collusion of the highest degree and is symbolic of New Zealand's horrific level of child abuse," McVicar says.

Moko's older sister Anna did her best to protect him from the abuse but she couldn't save him.

Anna was only 7. On the day Moko died, the caregivers forced her to kick him otherwise she too would be beaten.

Vesey encourages people who choose to march to wear blue, not just for Moko but to take a stand against child abuse. 

The march will begin at Aotea Square at 1pm on May 22 and slowly make its way down Queen St to Queen Elizabeth Square. 

For more information head to Facebook and search "I will march for Moko"

 - Stuff

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