Moko March planned for Masterton

By Alisa Yong alisa.yong@age.co.nz -
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Amanda Dette and Liz Rikiti are organising a Justice for Moko March against child abuse in Masterton. PHOTO/ALISA YONG
Amanda Dette and Liz Rikiti are organising a Justice for Moko March against child abuse in Masterton. PHOTO/ALISA YONG

A nationwide campaign against child abuse has reached Masterton, with a march planned for next month.

The Justice for Moko March will be held in central Masterton on June 27, the same day as the sentencing of Moko Rangitoheriri's killers, Tania Shailer and David William Haerewa.

The series of nationwide marches was sparked by the violence which killed the 3-year-old, who was savagely beaten over several weeks by his carers.

The Masterton march is being organised by Liz Rikiti and Amanda Dette.

Mrs Rikiti said the march was about the nation speaking out for Moko, who could no longer speak for himself.

"What if that child was your own child or a family member? Obviously it's not going to bring Moko back, he had his voice taken from him, but it's about the whole of New Zealand trying to be his voice now and get it out there."

Child abuse needed to be talked about openly to help bring down the country's "insane" child abuse statistics, Mrs Rikiti said.

"It's not just our babies and our toddlers, the older children have got to feel it's okay to say something -- that it's not something that needs to be hidden -- it needs to be talked about more and brought into our everyday lives so it's not something that is hidden away from the public," she said.

Ms Dette said while Moko's death had sparked nationwide outrage, there was violence against children happening every day that no one heard about.

"It makes me feel a bit sick. It needs to be stopped."

The pair are encouraging families to participate and hope to get businesses on board.

-- For more information see the Masterton Justice for Moko Facebook page.

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