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A child witness saw Nia Glassie "slam dunked on the ground", choked and put in a hot tumble dryer until her head bleed, the trial into the three-year-old's death heard today.

The video interview with the child was conducted by a specialist interviewer at Child, Youth and Family on July 23 last year, a day after Nia was admitted to hospital in a coma.

The 3-year-old never regained consciousness and died on August 3.

She talked about Michael Curtis, Michael Pearson and Wiremu Curtis, and said they "smash people".

The child witness said that included Nia and that it happened everyday.

"They pick her up and just slam dunk her on the ground," the child witness told the interviewer.

She said Wiremu Curtis and Michael Curtis did that.

"They hold her on her neck, on her throat", the child witness said, and, when asked by the interviewer if Nia could breath, the child witness shook her head.

The interviewer asked the child witness how she could tell. She said "she's breathing hard".

The child witness also described seeing Nia put in the dryer.

"They put her in the dryer and they turn it on and she goes round and round... they put her on top, her head gets hot and she starts to bleed."

The Curtis brothers are charged with Nia's murder, while three others, including Nia's mother, Lisa Kuka, are charged with manslaughter.
The Curtis brothers, Michael's girlfriend Oriwa Kemp and Nia's cousin Michael Pearson also face multiple charges of assault.

The child witness said the Curtis brothers and Pearson put Nia on the clothes line and spun her around until she fell off.

"She just falls off on her stomach.

"They picked her up and they put her in the rubbish."

When asked what happened next the child witness said: "She screamed."

Earlier a juror was discharged, leaving the trial of five people accused of killing the toddler to continue with 11 jurors.

There was a two-hour delay at the start of the trial today after one of the jurors failed to appear at the High Court at Rotorua.

The man later appeared but Justice Judith Potter told the jury she had discharged him.

"The trial will continue with 11 jurors," she said.

Today's evidence is the first to be given by two child witnesses.

Neighbours tell of screams

Yesterday, during the third day of the trial at the High Court at Rotorua, neighbours told how they heard crying and screaming coming from a child at the house where Nia lived.

The sounds were heard on the same day Nia allegedly suffered the fatal injuries.

Jodie Clarke, who lived next to the Frank St house, said she heard "a certain kind of cry that alarms you to something wrong" about 2pm, and went out on to her verandah.

When she did so the sound ceased, but she later heard more unusual crying, again from a child, about 5pm.

"The crying was like a yowl."

When she looked over to the house, she said adults were laughing and the child was quiet, so she went inside.

Under cross-examination, she said she had not called police because the sounds had ceased and seeing the adults made her think everything was all right.

She earlier said the adults were drinking.

The Curtis brothers allegedly dealt Nia the kicks to the head between 7.30pm and 8pm on July 20 last year, leading to her death on August 3.

Ms Clarke's daughter-in-law, Sylvia Newton, also testified about seeing a little girl on the roof of the Frank St house on the afternoon of July 20.

She said people yelled at the child to come down, and about 20 minutes later she too heard crying and screaming, which she said ceased by dark.

Earlier, two members of Nia's family told the court how Nia was inadequately dressed for the cold at a birthday party in May last year.

Maria Ngamotu, Lisa Kuka's niece, said Nia and two other children appeared at her house for her daughter's first birthday, unaccompanied and hours earlier than expected.

The children told Ms Ngamotu that Wiremu and Michael Curtis had dropped them off, and Ms Ngamotu said the trio were wearing only "little skirts" and no jackets.

Ms Ngamotu's voice broke when she described how Nia was "quiet ... but ... all right" at the party.

The 22-year-old also said Kuka, who is charged with Nia's manslaughter, failed to drop Nia at her house on July 21, despite Ms Ngamotu agreeing to babysit.

Ms Ngamotu's mother, Donna, who is one of Kuka's 16 siblings, said she fetched long pants and a jersey for Nia at the birthday party, and said she would sometimes see Kuka playing the pokies until after midnight.

Nia's kohanga reo teacher said Kuka came to the kindergarten only once, and Nia was enrolled just 16 days before she suddenly stopped attending.

The teacher, Dolores Wallace, said Nia's final day was July 11 - nine days before she was allegedly kicked - and Ms Wallace did not recall any communication from Nia's family about why she had stopped attending. She recalled Nia as "very reserved".