Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Toddler's death 'no accident'

Ten years ago John Tims was the cop in charge of the Kahui investigation. This week, which would have been the boys’ 10th birthday, Tims is launching a child abuse team in South Auckland in a bid to prevent more babies being murdered.

Police are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who they say suffered non-accidental injuries.

The toddler died just before Christmas at the Manurewa home where he lived with his family.

Counties Manukau District Commander Superintendent John Tims said the boy's family were cooperating with police and the investigation was progressing. He would not be drawn on the specifics saying the investigation team did not want to release any further details at this stage.

It comes as police in south Auckland launch a new unit to tackle New Zealand's horrifying record of child abuse.

The Counties Manukau Children's Team will be launched on Tuesday - the tenth unit around the country under the Government's Children's Action Plan. The plan is designed to identify and target at risk children and provide support to them and their families.

The new unit is launched, coincidentally, ten years after the deaths of Mangere twins Chris and Cru Kahui.

Chris and Cru - the Kahui twins. Photo / Supplied
Chris and Cru - the Kahui twins. Photo / Supplied

Tims headed that investigation.

READ MORE
The tragic twin boys forever in our minds
Chris and Cru Kahui: The fatal 24 hours

"Chris and Cru Kahui would have had their 10th birthday this year. Unfortunately the problem still exists in our community," Tims said.

"The things we see in day-to-day policing aren't always easy to deal with, and the murder of twin baby boys Chris and Cru Kahui in 2006 was a particularly difficult case," Tims said.

"Police officers are also part of a family and cases of severe child abuse take a personal toll on those involved."

The twin boys, who suffered non-accidental brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma to their heads, were just 90 days old when they died. Tomorrow would have been their 10th birthday.

Since then 61 babies have been killed. Tims said between seven and 10 children were killed each year by someone who was supposed to be caring for them.

"Our aim is to stop as many of those children as possible falling through the cracks of the systems set up to protect them."

Get help

If you see or hear about a child whose safety and wellbeing is in immediate danger, don't wait, and don't assume someone else is acting.

• Call police on 111 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
• You can also report any suspected child abuse, neglect, harm or maltreatment to Child Youth and Family on 0508 326 459.

• In tomorrow's Herald: The Government's new plan to solve our child abuse shame

- NZ Herald

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