Moko Rangitoheriri died a violent and terrifying death in 2015.

But a song launched today is set to make his legacy Shine, rather than fade.

The 3-year-old died on August 10 that year from injuries he received during prolonged abuse and torture at the hands of his caregivers.

Kiwi singer Tina Cross penned Another Little One after hearing Moko's sad story.

Moko Rangitoheriri was abused for 59 days before he succumbed to his brutal injuries. Photo / Supplied
Moko Rangitoheriri was abused for 59 days before he succumbed to his brutal injuries. Photo / Supplied

Cross has donated the single to national domestic abuse charity Shine to help raise much-needed funds in the lead up to the busy Christmas period.

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READ MORE: Moko's death inspires song for domestic violence prevention campaign

All proceeds from the song, available on iTunes, will go to Shine to help families - particularly children - who are struggling with violence in their lives.

Moko's mother Nicola Dally-Paki spoke to the Herald about the song.

She is attending Shine's Christmas party tonight, where the song is being officially launched.

Cross is set to perform it with the Auckland police Nga Pirihimana O Tāmaki Makaurau Choir.

"When I was first approached by Shine regarding the tribute song written and performed by Tina Cross I was understandably moved to tears," Dally-Paki said.

"It has been an incredible struggle for me since the death of my 'Little one', Moko.

Nicola Dally-Paki gives evidence at the coroner's inquest into the death of her son Moko Rangitoheriri held at the Rotorua District Court. Photo / Alan Gibson
Nicola Dally-Paki gives evidence at the coroner's inquest into the death of her son Moko Rangitoheriri held at the Rotorua District Court. Photo / Alan Gibson

To listen to Another Little One by Tina Cross click here

"It has been only through the continued support of close friends and Shine that I have found strength in myself to better myself.

"I believe that the work that Shine does was and is absolutely instrumental in my ability to make many positive changes in my life. "

In 2015 Dally-Paki had to travel to Auckland to support her sick elder son in hospital.

She entrusted the care of Moko to her friend Tania Shailer and her partner David Haerewa.

In the 59 days Moko was with them he was subjected to appalling abuse.

When Moko was taken to hospital - after being left injured and suffering for hours - his eyes were so swollen that the nurse could not lift the lids to check his pupils and his little body was so cold that devices used for measuring body temperature would not take a reading.

He had bite marks on his face, his tummy was protruding unnaturally and he was covered head to toe in bruises and abrasions.

A post-mortem examination was carried out and established that the Tokoroa toddler died as a result of "multiple blunt force traumas".

Shailer, 26, and Haerewa, 44, were sentenced to 17 years in jail with a minimum non-parole period of nine years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

When Cross heard Moko's story in the news she felt devastated.

Tina Cross, who wrote the song inspired by the death of Moko. Photograph supplied
Tina Cross, who wrote the song inspired by the death of Moko. Photograph supplied

And, knowing that he was not the first child to die at the hands of an abusive adult, she felt she had to do something.

"It is just so tragically sad and that is what inspired me to write it," Cross told the Herald earlier this week.

"I really feel it's got a powerful and poignant message and I hope it's going to make a huge impact and statement and people will really think hard about our young children who have been abused and who have died.

"Moko was the inspiration, I'm sad to say, but what fuelled the passion and fuelled me to write it was what is happening to our young children - and there are many."

Cross hopes to raise $48,000 through the sales of her single for Shine.

Dally-Paki said she was attending the launch of the song, which will be the official song for Shine's Christmas campaign, to support the organisation.

"I appreciate the sentiment of the tribute by Ms Cross and hope that the song will raise domestic violence awareness," she said.

"If only one person hears the song and reaches out to Shine - then a life or lives will possibly be saved."

Dally-Paki's lawyer Arama Ngapo-Lipscombe, who supported the grieving mother through the trial for her son's killers and subsequent coroner's inquest, applauded Shine.

"Nicola recently gave evidence at coroner's inquest and again spoke of the challenges that she faced and the devastating effects that domestic violence played in all aspects of her life," Ngapo-Lipscombe said.

"Nicola continues to be a strong advocate for Shine who have skilled staff working within their organisation such as her personal support worker.

"Nicola appreciated the non-judgmental and unconditional support that the support worker and Shine gave her."

To listen to Another Little One by Tina Cross, or to donate to Shine's Christmas campaign - please click here or visit http://www.2shine.org.nz/another-little-one-tina-cross

Where to get help
If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.
• Run outside and head for where there are other people.
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.
• Take the children with you.
• Don't stop to get anything else.
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• Women's Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 - 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz

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