Coroner's inquiry into death of baby Moko continues

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

During the second day of the coroner’s inquiry into the death of 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri, Māori Women's Refuge worker Trina Marama has reiterated that she knew nothing about the abuse inflicted on the toddler prior to his death.

Marama restated that she didn't know that Tania Shailer, the woman she was helping, was hurting Rangitioheriri, who was under her care.

“I never knew Tania was punching moko,” says Marama, “That never was disclosed to me. I knew of sibling rivalry, nothing more”.

Marama gave evidence today saying she first saw Rangitioheriri in June 2015, after returning his 7-year old sister to Shailer’s home in Taupō.

Shailer had enrolled Rangitioheriri’s sister in Marama's programme to help children deal with family violence.

“It was a cool day and Moko had a coat on and the scene appeared to be that of a happy family,” says Marama.

Marama was accused of failing Rangitoheriri as a social worker and was challenged by the lawyer of Moko's mother’s lawyer, Nicola Dally-Paki, for not raising alarm bells.

One of the key focuses of the Coroner is to make recommendations that will prevent a death like this from happening again.