Thousands March for Moko

By Talisa Kupenga

Close to 1500 people hit the pavements of Auckland to march in solidarity for Moko Rangitoheriri. It was one of many marches between Kerikeri and Nelson all calling for the same outcome, to put an end to child abuse. 

Auckland's March for Moko organiser Kasia Vesey says, "It's about time that people actually did a march about this. It's about time that as a nation we were outraged enough to do something about this."

These words today at Auckland's March for Moko Rangitoheriri.

"We're losing children on average 10 to 14 kids a year in child homicides at the hands of people who are supposed to be caring for them and it's shameful," Vesey says.

A sea of marchers walked to the beat of the same drum.

Some participants spoke to Te Kaea about why they were marching,

"For the angels that were taken at the hands of their caregivers and parents," says one.

"We're here to support our baby Moko, and we're also here to say stop the violence at home," says another.

"Just hopefully it won't happen again. Just the awareness of it. Our children need to be safe."

Close to 1500 people marched today in Auckland. More than 1200 in Christchurch and Hamilton and more throughout the country. All with the same message, "no excuse for abuse".

Vesey says, "We don't know our own neighbours so we don't even know how to care for each other because we don't know each other we're just too busy caught up in life."

Moko's mother did not make it to Auckland's march today but supporters had a message...

"We're standing here today as mothers and as people who care and just saying that we love you and we love your son and we're just sorry for your loss," says Vesey.

After today's marches the organisers will meet to discuss strategies with the goal of helping to stop child abuse in their communities.