Web of lies around Moko's death says social worker (+video)

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Trina Marama, the Maori Women's Refuge social worker named in the horrific abuse case of Moko Rangitoheriri, has spoken out for the first time since the toddler's death.

In an interview with Maori Television's Native Affairs Ms Marama alleged a web of lies was created to hide the abuse that led to the death of three-year-old Moko in August last year.

"People in general are looking for someone to blame for Moko and I am it. I am it," she said.

"There were no signs or alarming signs that Moko was being abused. If I could have helped Moko I would have in a heartbeat. I would have picked him up and taken him home."

 Moko Rangitoheriri
Moko Rangitoheriri


At the time of his death Moko was under the care of Tania Shailer who, with her partner David Haerewa, pleaded guilty to manslaughter after murder charges were dropped last month.

Ms Marama was working for the Maori Women's Refuge which helped Tania find a home in Taupo to escape a violent past in 2013 and continued to work with Tania in 2015.

She denies ever being told about the abuse but raised concerns with Child Youth and Family that Tania wasn't coping with her own four children as well as caring for Moko and his sister.

"I felt I had left it in the right hands. I had taken it to CYF," she said.

CYF social workers, who dealt with the children's care, have not been publicly named.

The full interview is on Native Affairs tonight at 8pm on Maori Television.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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