The teenager accused of raping a 5-year-old girl at a Turangi campground has pleaded guilty at a court appearance today.

The 16-year-old was accused of attacking the girl as she slept in a caravan at a Turangi campground on December 21.

He appeared today in the Taupo District Court, and as had previously been indicated through his lawyer, Katherine Ewen, admitted the charges of burglary and sexual violation by rape, as well as a third charge of aggravated wounding that was amended to causing grievous bodily harm.

The December 21 incident at a Turangi campsite led to an outpouring of national shame, and left the child and her family - on holiday from Europe - inundated with gifts and offers of support.


Judge Jocelyn Munro said case had been moved to District Court level because of "the seriousness of the offending was such that no sentence in Youth Court could be adequate."

The 16-year-old was again supported by family members in court today, including his father.

It emerged at today's hearing that teen had provided a letter of apology to the family.

He is to be sentenced in Rotorua District Court on the February 23, and was remanded in custody.