One of the people jailed over the child abuse-related death of Rotorua toddler Nia Glassie is fighting authorities for custody of her newborn son - her fifth child who has been taken into care.

Oriwa Kemp was convicted of assaulting Nia, who died in 2007.

Kemp was 17 at the time.

• READ MORE: 'I'm not a monster' - Oriwa Kemp breaks her silence over Nia, life and future

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Her partner at the time, Michael Curtis, was convicted of murder, along with his brother Wiremu.

Wiremu Curtis was the partner of Nia's mother Lisa Kuka, who was convicted and jailed on two counts of manslaughter for failing to protect her daughter and provide her with the necessities of life.

Kemp had a young daughter who was taken in to care after Nia died.

Since then she has given birth to four more children.

The four children are in care - all uplifted shortly after birth by Child Youth and Family, now the Ministry for Children, Oranga Tamariki.

Her youngest, a son, was born on December 15, several weeks before her due date.

Novi Marikena, Hoani Waititi Marae, talks about Oriwa Kemp. / Michael Craig

Kemp, now 27, told the Herald before the birth that she was working hard to prove to authorities that she could be a fit mother.

She hoped to keep the baby and raise him herself.

For legal reasons the Herald cannot publish further details of the custody situation, but she is working with her supporters to prove that she can provide the baby a stable home.

Kemp said she had never had such stability in her life and she was now in a good place.

When news broke about her latest pregnancy the Herald requested an interview with Kemp.

Oriwa Kemp at 17, when she was charged with assaulting Nia Glassie. Photo / NZME
Oriwa Kemp at 17, when she was charged with assaulting Nia Glassie. Photo / NZME

She initially refused, but after many months agreed to tell her story.

Kemp said she simply wants to be understood and she is sick of being silent.

In the Herald today, Kemp speaks about her life and offending - and why she wants to keep this baby.

She said for the first time since she was 12 - when she left home to live with Curtis and started using hard drugs - she is in a stable environment with good support.

She hoped that the authorities would let her keep this child and give her a chance at motherhood, which would also help her bond further with her other kids.

Kemp has contact with all four of her older children but it is limited and supervised.

Since early 2017 she has been supported by the Hoani Waititi Marae.

Trustee Novi Marikena said he had faith that Kemp could be a good mother.

"She needs the opportunity to correct the wrongs that have happened to her in her life," he said.

Novi Marikena at Hoani Waititi Marae. Marikena has been supporting Oriwa Kemp. Photo / Michael Craig
Novi Marikena at Hoani Waititi Marae. Marikena has been supporting Oriwa Kemp. Photo / Michael Craig

"I would just like to see where this kid can go, because I think the opportunities, if they are given to her and she's in this space of light not getting pulled into that shadow, I think she would do very well."

Kemp spoke to the Herald in the hopes that people would understand her better - her choices and her offending - and she could finally move forward.

Kemp said she did not want to do anything to disrespect Nia, however she did want people to understand her before they passed judgment.

"I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me, no way," she said.

"I'm just not that person anymore."