Coroner: Moko's death reminiscent of Nia Glassie case

  • 06/05/2016
David Haerewa and Tania Shailer (Newshub.)
David Haerewa and Tania Shailer (Newshub.)

The coroner who will oversee an inquest into the death of Taupo toddler Moko Rangitoheriri is questioning whether any lessons have been learned since the death of three-year-old Nia Glassie eight years ago.

Bay of Plenty coroner Wallace Bain presided over the 2011 inquest into Nia's death, and says he made a number of clear, strong recommendations then to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

Three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri died of multiple injuries suffered while he was in the care of David Haerewa and Tania Shailer, who pleaded guilty to his manslaughter on Monday. 

Over the course of several weeks, the toddler was kicked, thrown, dropped, bitten and stomped on by the pair. He eventually died of his injuries on August 10, 2015.

In a statement, Coroner Bain said that there are a large number of questions that need addressing.

These include 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.

Coroner Bain is also questioning whether anyone else was aware of the assaults and injuries the child suffered, if it had come to the attention of welfare and educational agencies and, if so, what action was taken.

He drew parallels with the horrific abuse suffered by Nia Glassie, who died of brain injuries in 2007.

The inquest into Moko's death will look specifically at what steps, if any, have been taken by those responsible for keeping children safe, and if those steps are adequate, he said.

A date has yet to be set for Moko Rangitoheriri's inquest.

NZN / Newshub.