Baby Maija Puhi Duff was "his heart, his everything" her emotional grandfather has proclaimed, adding "she was beautiful".

Rameka Puhi's heartfelt words were in response to a request by Crown solicitor Amanda Gordon for him to describe the baby as he began his evidence in the High Court at Rotorua on Tuesday.

On trial is baby Maija's father Donovan (Donny) Michael Duff, 42, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering her at their Turangi home on March 12, 2016, just days before she would have been 9 months old.

Puhi recalled his daughter told him Maija had taken a tumble out of a car seat and he'd seen a graze on the baby's forehead but couldn't remember if she still had it when he last saw her, three days before she died.

Questioned by Duff's lawyer Moana Dorset, Puhi was unable to say whether the defendant had been crying or the two of them hugged while a paramedic was giving Maija CPR.

Two of Duff's relatives talked of spending time with baby Maija the day before she died. Neither had noticed any bumps, bruises or scratches on her.


Casey Duff said the baby had fed herself from a "suckie" (food pouch) but hadn't been interested in a bottle.

At one stage she became grizzly and looked uncomfortable, thinking she may be constipated the witness massaged her puku (stomach).

When the women took Maija back to her father's home the evening before she died she'd been sleeping but woke when she heard his voice.

"She was happy to see her Papa, had big smiles for him," Duff testified.

She told Dorset Maija was "very, very loved from both sides [of the whanau]".

Questioned by Justice Mathew Downes she said apart from the possible constipation there was nothing about the baby's behaviour that concerned her.

A woman whose identifying details are suppressed told the court she'd had regular contact with Maija and her parents from the time the baby was born.

"She (Malina Puhi) and Donovan were good parents, baby was a good baby, she was healthy, clean all the time, dressed appropriately for the weather."

At some stage before the baby died, she couldn't recall exactly when, she'd seen a small graze on Maija's forehead and another on, or near her nose. When the baby's mother told her the infant had fallen she cautioned her to be careful "because baby is only little".

To Dorset, she said in her view the relationship between Maija's parents was good, before and after their baby was born.

Earlier in the day Melina Puhi told how the infant had toppled from a car seat down some concrete steps. On another occasion she'd fallen from a stroller.

She admitted both she and Duff used methamphetamine, he on a daily basis while she said her use was restricted to once a week.

She said when she discovered her baby unresponsive in Duff's truck he told her she'd rolled off a bed, he'd put her on a couch to sleep with him and woke to find she wasn't breathing or moving.

The trial enters its third day tomorrow.