Water ritual went all night

02:41, May 19 2009

A 13-year-old boy has told how he stayed up all night passing containers of water to be poured into the eyes and mouth of allegedly cursed Wainuiomata woman Janet Moses.

The boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was interviewed by police two weeks after Ms Moses, 22, died on October 12, 2007.

The recording of that interview was played to a jury in the High Court at Wellington today where nine people are on trial charged with manslaughter of Ms Moses, a mother of two.

The boy said he had been off school all week going back and forwards to the small flat where Ms Moses' extended family and their partners had gathered.

He had joined a circle of people, with Ms Moses sitting on a chair inside the circle, chanting "Go with peace and love."

He knew that Ms Moses was sick and later learned she had a Maori curse, a makutu, on her.

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But he did not know why water was being poured on her.

"She was just lying there and she was trying to spit it out."

He said he was not sure if she was okay with what was happening to her.

When she tried to push them away people held down her arms and legs.

The boy said he and about four others spent all night handing containers of water to the people who were pouring it on Ms Moses.

He did not leave the room till about 9am the next morning, by which time Ms Moses was already dead, he said.

The Dominion Post