Coroner's findings on death of Moko

Published: December 13, 2017

Our response to the coroner’s findings on the death of Moko Rangitoheriri.

The Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, will work with government agencies and other organisations to carefully consider the findings of Coroner Wallace Bain on the death of Moko Rangitoheriri.

His key recommendation for compulsory monitoring of children up to five suggests a multi-agency approach is required and that is something for the government to consider. We are heartened he has found most of his other recommendations, made in relation to an earlier inquest into the death of Nia Glassie, are already in place.

Our commitment to continuously improving quality practice and supervison will ensure we always improve how we work with children and families.

We feel deep sympathy for everyone who loved this little boy. The particular circumstances affected everyone. The tragedy was Moko died after repeated abuse and throughout this no one heard his voice.

We acknowledge the work of Coroner Bain and agree with his observation that we as a country have to take further action to keep children safe and provide them with loving homes.

It’s vital that people report concerns of abuse or neglect, anonymously if they wish, so we can follow up.

Oranga Tamariki has driven a number of changes since the deaths of both Nia and Moko. Through our establishment this year, one agency is now responsible for the long-term welfare of at-risk children. Our way of working includes ensuring continuous improvement of our social work practice so it is consistently of high quality.

Deeply important to our organisation’s development is recognising the mana of every child. We put tamariki first and will challenge when things aren’t right for a child. To that end we are focused on supporting whānau, hapū and iwi to contribute meaningfully to decision making regarding their children and young people.

We’re partnering with others, sharing information and working alongside iwi and Māori in ways that haven’t happened before, through successful programmes such as Mokopuna Ora and Hui a Whānau.

One of our key areas of focus is linking with other government and community organisations to improve services. Prevention and early intervention are also central to what we do. We know when we work with at-risk children and families as early as possible; we can make a real difference.

For example, Children’s Teams bring together professionals from iwi, health, Police, Justice, Education and social services to create a single plan to help children at risk of abuse or neglect. Similarly, before a child is discharged from hospital due to substantiated or suspected abuse, Oranga Tamariki, health professionals and police develop a safety plan.

Spokesperson - Glynis Sandland: Deputy Chief Executive for Services for Children and Families North

If you're worried about the safety of a child or young person, call us on 0508 326 459. If a child is immediate danger, call the Police on 111.

For media enquiries, contact or call our media line on 04 918 9199.

Worried about a child? Tell us