Man charged with baby’s mur­der

The Northland Age - - Local News - By Denise Piper

A Kaitaia man is in cus­tody charged with the mur­der of four-week-old Kaitaia baby Ma­ree Takuira Mita Nga­here.

The man, 22, was granted in­terim name sup­pres­sion when he ap­peared in Kaitaia Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day, charged with mur­der of Ma­ree in Kaitaia on Feb­ru­ary 19.

The man also faces a charge of as­sault on a child in re­la­tion to a sep­a­rate mat­ter and is charged with as­sault­ing a one year old in Ma­nurewa be­tween De­cem­ber 1 and Jan­uary 16.

The ac­cused was re­manded in cus­tody by Judge Dei­dre Or­chard to reap­pear in the High Court at Whanga¯rei on March 21.

About 20 peo­ple sat in si­lence in the pub­lic gallery dur­ing the man’s ap­pear­ance in court. He was vis­i­bly up­set in the dock.

Ma­ree died on Feb­ru­ary 19, with po­lice re­port­ing her death was not ac­ci­den­tal.

Re­sults from a post-mortem in­di­cated she suf­fered a brain in­jury and bleed­ing to her brain. There was also se­vere bruis­ing on one arm and thigh.

Po­lice thanked the com­mu­nity for com­ing for­ward af­ter an ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion was made.

“I want to re­ally thank the Far North com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly the peo­ple of Kaitaia, for their sup­port through­out this in­quiry,” act­ing De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Lloyd Sch­mid said.

“The mes­sage that I want to get out is that it’s their com­mu­nity — we can’t po­lice this by our­selves. They have stepped up and pro­vided us with that sup­port. It was a com­bi­na­tion of that sup­port and the hard work of this [po­lice] team here has got us to that first step,” he said.

“We’re only at the be­gin­ning of this jour­ney.”

Mr Sch­mid said po­lice’s door was al­ways open for peo­ple with fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

“If peo­ple think they have any­thing of value, we’re cer­tainly will­ing to sit down and lis­ten to what they have to say.”

On av­er­age, a child in NZ is killed every five weeks, putting the coun­try high on the list of the world’s worst of­fend­ers, ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port.

Sixty-one chil­dren died as a re­sult of non-ac­ci­den­tal in­juries in New Zea­land be­tween 2006 and 2016.

The New Zea­land Po­lice Homi­cide Vic­tims Re­port 2017, re­leased last year, showed 686 peo­ple were killed by homi­cide in NZ over that pe­riod, with chil­dren un­der five mak­ing up 12 per cent of the vic­tims.


Me­dia at­ten­tion was fo­cused on Kaitaia Dis­trict Court on Thurs­day, when the mur­der-ac­cused ap­peared. In­set: Ma­ree Takuira Mita Nga­here.

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