A karakia Aroha will be held tomorrow for the "bubbly little soul" who died in Rotorua Hospital last Saturday.

This week, police launched a homicide inquiry into the death of 5-year-old Ferro James Sio who died on February 8.

His father, William James Sio, 24, has been charged with assaulting a child and police have indicated further charges are likely.

The karakia, to which all whānau and members of the community are invited, is being run by the Save our Babies Charitable Trust.


The trust, founded by Kahira Olley, works nationally to speak out about child and domestic abuse.

"His life mattered, regardless of whether we knew him or not. He was still a beautiful little boy who was apart of our community," Olley said.

"He died because of violence, the least we can do is come together, have a karakia, sing a waiata."

The karakia will be to honour Ferro and all children who had been killed by violence in Rotorua and New Zealand.

The event will also be show solidarity for the whānau and show they are supported within the community.

"We invite you to stand with us in solidarity as a community for the elimination of violence against our babies," the social media invitation read.

"Shatter the silence around violence towards our innocent, our babies, from those that are supposed to keep them safe, protect and love them.

"No child should have to live in fear, no child should die from violence, speak up for those that have no voice.

Ferro lived with his father at a property the Ministry of Social Development confirmed was social housing.


A person close to the family, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the relationship between William and Ferro.

She told the Rotorua Daily Post Ferro was a "happy-go-lucky, full of joy, bubbly little soul", who loved and cherished his cousins just as they love and cherished him.

"Ferro's family in Rotorua miss him so much and are so lost not having him around," she said.

"We love you, baby boy, thank you for entering our lives."

Local agencies and organisations that work with whānau are also invited to make themselves known.

This is to let those attending known what is available in our community for those needing help, assistance or someone to talk to.

Prayers of love for Ferro
Where: Outside Rotorua Library, Jean Batten Square
When: Sunday, 6pm