In the wake of the sentencing of scumbags Tania Shailer and David Haerewa for killing “Moko”, the Press editorial takes issue with the politicising of tragedy.
The “justice for Moko” movement was an expression of populism at its most raw and sincere. People came together for peaceful protests outside courthouses from Whangarei to Invercargill on Monday. The crowds were typically small, numbering between 100 and 200. A group of 30 assembled on Stewart Island, which does not even have a courthouse. The largest reported crowd of 500 was in Rotorua, where Tania Shailer and David Haerewa were sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for the manslaughter of three-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri.
It hardly needed to be demonstrated, but the protests showed that disgust at the horrific, sustained violence inflicted on a toddler by people who were supposed to care for him is a national issue. More than that, it showed that Moko had, like Nia Glassie eight years earlier, transcended the specifics of his own story to become a symbol of both the terrible potential for individual violence and a failure of systems that are supposed to protect children. Read more »