Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

Editorial: Weekend puts issue in frame

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It was just the weekend we needed.

After a week of trying to come to grips with what happened to little Moko Rangitoheriri in Taupo, it's fair to say my faith in humanity was waning.

New Zealanders couldn't understand how a 3-year-old in a country such as ours could have suffered such an horrific death.

As more details about the case were revealed throughout the week, the sickening feeling of imagining what that wee boy went through got worse.

New Zealand has a problem.

In a special report today we reveal we have the worst rate of family violence in the developed world.

Last year police reported there were 105,000 family violence callouts in New Zealand and they estimate the problem is up to 80 per cent worse.

If that's true, then one in three people in New Zealand has been a victim of family violence.

In Rotorua, someone is picking up the phone and calling police because of family violence up to 70 times a week. That's horrendous.

So do we have horrible families? Are we horrible parents?

Thankfully, no.

To swing the mood around, the children's winter sport season started in Rotorua at the weekend.

The sun was shining and there were hundreds of excited children in crisp clean uniforms bouncing around sports fields throughout the city.

I was at the junior rugby at Ray Boord Park and the sidelines were full with amazing parents.

Smartphones were out filming first tries, encouraging words were being shouted and mums and dads were running around on the fields plonking their little ones back into place, or dusting them off if they'd had a fall.

Then yesterday, Facebook feeds were chocker with mums fair skiting about their Mother's Day spoils.

They were proudly displaying photos of their hand-made loot from their children, while others were announcing their affection for their mothers and thanking them for everything they did.

So yes, when it comes to violence, New Zealand has a problem.

But for now, I'm choosing to keep grinning about all the amazing parents we have in Rotorua.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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