Opinion: Moko's death is murder by torture

David Haerewa and Tania Shailer (Newshub.)
David Haerewa and Tania Shailer (Newshub.)

Moko Rangitoheriri died a slow, painful and horrific death. It's not something you want to think about, but we must.

Forty-three-year-old David Haerewa and Tania Shailer, 26, have pleaded guilty to his manslaughter after earlier denying it was murder.

Over a sustained period of 30 days they violently assaulted the boy resulting in his death.

They knew what they were doing. They have no excuses for what they did.

Moko was being 'looked after' by the pair whilst his mother was caring for her eldest child in hospital.

While in the custody of these two scumbags they beat him to his death. He was defenceless -- it must have been terrifying.

They rubbed his own faeces on his face, viciously beat him and bit the defenceless child on his cheek and shoulder.

It raises so many questions. Where was the wider family? Did someone not see this happening?

New Zealand has a terrible, dark and embarrassing history of child violence. Thirteen young New Zealanders died last year at the hands of child killers.

We kill our children in record numbers -- it's shameful. The Kahui twins, Nia Glassie, James Whakaruru and now the death of this innocent three-year-old boy.

It's well past time to stand up and confront the issue of domestic violence which haunts some of our darkest streets.

This case should be used to send a message.

Nia Glassie died after being kicked in the head by Wiremu and Michael Curtis. They were convicted of murder and got 17.5 years non-parole.

There is no difference in this case. These scumbags inflicted blunt force injuries on the little boy's head and abdomen.

How is that manslaughter?

Whatever they get for manslaughter won't be enough in my view. They deserve to spend a long, long time in prison. This is not manslaughter -- this is murder by month-long torture.