In the 28 years I have been a journalist there have been some stories that have affected me personally.

The horrors of apartheid - the sheer injustice of it all - cut me deep many times. How could it not be personal? It was up close and it was a reason I became a journalist.

The terrible tale of abuse of the little Rotorua girl Nia Glassie had a major impact on me - it actually reduced me to tears. I could not get the image out of my head of the suffering that girl endured at the hands of people who were supposed to be protecting her.

Read more: Taradale death - Aryan was 'fun-loving, happy child'


Yesterday, an overwhelming feeling of sadness came over me. It was sadness at an unnecessary loss of a young life. But, this time there was empathy attached to it because I felt for two parents who did not deserve to lose their child.

We have all been following the truly awful story of Aryan Banerjee, the 9-year-old Taradale Primary School student found unconscious after being hooked on a toilet window by his shirt.

Well, yesterday little Aryan died in the arms of his parents. Imagine the pain. I can't.

It is almost certainly every parent's nightmare. His father Anjan told our reporter Amy Shanks: "You should never outlive your kids".

That is so true, but even more than that, I think every parent wants their children to have better lives than they have had. Even if you have a fantastic life, you want better for your children. Unfortunately Aryan's parents will never have the pleasure of watching him grow into the fine young man he deserved to be.

As the Banerjee family is grieving, the wider community is mourning as well.

But, there has to be accountability. I have no doubt the investigations are thorough, but we need to know how and why he died.