Teenager charged with manslaughter over Hawke's Bay toddler Matiu Wereta's death

Hastings toddler Matiu Wereta died in October.
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Hastings toddler Matiu Wereta died in October.

An 18-year-old originally charged with assault following the death of a 2-year-old Hastings boy last year now faces a count of manslaughter.

Matiu Wereta died in October in the intensive care unit at Hawke's Bay Hospital after allegedly being assaulted at his home in Columbus Cres, Flaxmere, two days earlier.

A 17-year-old male was initially charged with assaulting the toddler, and was bailed to live at a Rotorua address after appearing in court last year.

Matiu Wereta with his mother Eranna Tiopira.
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Matiu Wereta with his mother Eranna Tiopira.

In Hastings District Court on Tuesday the teenager, now 18, faced new charges of manslaughter by assaulting the child, and injuring him with intent to injure.

READ MORE:
* Hastings toddler in critical condition after alleged home assault
* Matiu Wereta named as dead Hawke's Bay toddler in assault case

The earlier assault charge was withdrawn.

An interim order suppressing the name of the teenager was continued until his next court appearance, set for the High Court in Napier in a fortnight.

He remains on bail under conditions that include that he live at the Rotorua address under a curfew.

After his death, Matiu was described by his family as "a happy, smiley, adventurous boy who loved being active and getting involved in a lot of activities", including kapa haka.

He attended Te Tirahou daycare at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.

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 - Stuff

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