There were poignant words and prayers for Moko Rangitoheriri before a group of Dannevirke people took to the streets in silent protest yesterday morning.

The march for Moko, who died in August last year, was organised by Janine Withey to encourage people to stand up for justice for the 3-year-old who died at the hands of his caregivers following months of violent abuse.

"I just care like all you guys because we have all these kids getting hurt and passing away and it's not okay," she said. "These things aren't just happening in our big cities, they happen in little towns like Dannevirke and we've got to stand up and show we care. If we change just one person's mind and they know it's not okay to hit their kids..."

Janine said the gathering and march was about the children and the plea bargain which had reduced the charge from murder to manslaughter for Tania Shailer and David Haerewa found guilty of violent assaults on Moko.

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"Murder is murder and to be able to plea bargain isn't okay.

"Moko will never have the chance for life."