Dad lives with guilt over deaths
The father of the two children stabbed to death by their mother says he was angry at himself for a long time.
Moses Matekino opened up during the launch of the Faces of Innocence project last year about the horrific deaths of his two sons Winiata, 3, and Simon, 1, at the hands of their paranoid schizophrenic mother Tania Tokona in June 1999.
‘‘I was angry at her and I was angry at myself because I wasn’t there for my boys and my girl,’’ Matekino said.
On June 5, 1999, at their rural Tirau home, Tokona bundled Simon, Winiata and Alex into the family’s white Ford Fairmont and drove the 5km to Tirau to visit her elderly uncle. It was 9pm.
She asked her uncle for a Bible and a copy of her whakapapa (family tree) and stayed about 20 minutes before heading off.
But they didn’t make it home.
Tokona killed Winiata and Simon at a cemetery in Tirau stabbing them to death with scissors while she prayed at a graveside.
Matekino’s 2-year-old daughter Alexandria was spared.
She drove to Whanganui , with the bodies of her sons in the boot and her daughter strapped into a car seat at the back.
She dropped her daughter off at a nearby house before she droving over a cliff.
‘‘They wanted my babies and wanted them bad,’’ she later told police. She didn’t explain who ‘‘they’’ were.
‘‘I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t stop.’’
Tokona survived and was charged with infanticide, but was later found not guilty by reason of insanity. Tokona is a paranoid schizophrenic.
Matekino often wonders what his sons would be doing now.
‘‘Winiata would be 19 now and Simon would have been 17. I think about them every day,’’ he said.
‘‘Winiata would be working now and Simon would still be at school. It’s hard.’’
Matekino had to identify the bodies.
‘‘I saw all the wounds. I seen Winiata. His hand fighting the scissors.
‘‘I never saw the attack, but I could see what his hand was saying to me.’’
Winiata had had stab wounds all on him; Simon around his head and body.
‘‘All I remember is walking in this building and seeing my sons. I was crying.’’
The house near Tirau where the family lived and where Moses still lives today.