Guest Post – Why I refuse to read anything about Moko

Moko Rangitoheriri

Moko Rangitoheriri

If you follow any form of New Zealand media, it’s impossible to have avoided seeing numerous headlines about a young child named Moko. I’ve chosen – refused – to read anything more than seeing those headlines.

I am not putting my head in the sand: I have already read the research on New Zealand’s shameful child maltreatment statistics.

Knowing the specific details about this particular case does not help make me a better mother to my young children.

My primary responsibility is to protect and care for my children. Parenting is a hard, tiring, thankless, frustrating and endless job. I need and want examples of other people who’ve survived the journey and giving and receiving of support from other mums and dads who are there in the thick of things too and real about their struggles. Talking to others and realising they get how loud and messy life with kids can be over food with laughter eases the load.   

Knowing how Moko was treated by his caregivers does not solve the problem in our society.  Marching does not solve the problem. Making new laws does not solve the problem. Blaming government agencies does not solve the problem.

The quiet and seemingly unremarkable actions of people who make real consistent time for each other to ease their burdens helps solve the problem. Extended family looking after each other and groups of families sharing the load when times are tough. Taking a couple of kids out for the day, making meals, doing chores together, buying some groceries. Those things matter.

Knowing the specific details about how Moko died is an utter waste of time. People can point fingers at people like “them” and “their” problems and how “society” or “agencies” have failed the child. It can make us feel sickened and angry for a while.

But how often do these negative feelings produce lasting change in our own lives: new habits to use our time to support the families we personally know? That’s the hard stuff.

So the news moves onto the next topic we need to despair over and nothing changes.


– Mother of Four


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.