Native Affairs Exclusive - Social Worker Speaks Out

The social worker named in the horrific abuse case of Moko Rangitoheriri has spoken exclusively to Māori Television’s Native Affairs.

In her first interview, Trina Marama, reveals how a web of lies was created to hide the abuse that would lead to the three-year old’s death in August last year.

“There were no signs or alarming signs that Moko was being abused.  If I could have helped Moko I would have in a heartbeat.   I would have picked him up and taken him home,” she says.

Trina Marama has been condemned as a social worker who failed to keep Moko safe.

“People in general are looking for someone to blame for Moko and I am it.  I am it,” says Trina Marama.

Moko was under the care of Tania Shailer who with her partner, David Haerewa, pleaded guilty to his manslaughter after murder charges were dropped last month.   The toddler suffered horrendous abuse that Trina Marama claims was well hidden.

“Very good actress, very practiced at what she did. The picture Tania painted was a picture perfect painting and I do believe she painted this same picture for many in Taupo,” says Trina Marama.

Trina Marama was working for the Maori Women’s Refuge which helped Shailer find a home in Taupo to escape a violent past in 2013.  

Marama also took care of Moko’s seven-year-old sister through a whānau support programme and raised concerns with CYFS that Shailer wasn’t coping.  Eleven days later, Moko was dead.

None of the CYFs social workers have been named. 

Trina Marama’s full story will be revealed on Native Affairs tonight.