Family First has released the list of child abuse deaths in the past 12 months, and says that the shocking trend of eight deaths in the past 12 months is ample evidence of the need for a non-political Commission of Inquiry into child abuse.
"We have had Commission of Inquiries this year into the Pike river tragedy, the collapse of buildings and consequent loss of life in the Christchurch earthquake, and previous inquiries into police conduct (2004), genetic modification (2000-2001), and Auckland governance (2007-2009) - yet no inquiry into one of the greatest social problems facing the country. The issue of child abuse deserves a high priority total focus which a Commission would give," says Bob Mccoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
"The ongoing rates of child abuse are a wake-up call that children will never be safe until we are honest enough as a country to identify and tackle the real causes of child abuse. An independent Inquiry free of political correctness and point-scoring is essential. We need long-term solutions to a problem that has existed for far too long."
(Info from police releases and media reports)
1. 6 month old Cezar Taylor Mangere East July 29 2010,
The partner of the child's mother (not father), James Allan Hemana, 30, also known as James Sylva, has been charged with assaulting the baby.
2. 3 year old Seini Unaloto Ikamunu North Shore died 7 Dec 2010
Seini Unaloto IKAMANU received a severe head injury at her Beach haven home on 24 March 2010. She died in Starship Hospital yesterday 6 December 2010. A 27 year old man (father?) was originally charged with assault on a child. Seini never recovered from her injury. She was in palliative care until her death. Police have not ruled out further charges being laid.
3. Christchurch Newborn Dec 8 2010
A 27-year-old woman (mother) has been charged with the murder of a newborn baby after an incident in Christchurch overnight. The woman appeared in the Christchurch District Court this morning and was remanded in custody for psychiatric assessment, say police.
4. 5 year old Sahara Jayde Baker-Koro Hawkes Bay 21 Dec 2010
A 5-year-old girl found dead in her bed after an alleged assault was trying to escape the violence in her life. The girl was found in her bed by family members at their home in Riverbed Rd
in central Napier. Kerry Ratana (not the father) 24, has appeared in court charged with the rape and murder of Sahara.
5. 5 month old Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti, Flaxmere 11 January 2011
A 21-year-old man (not father) has been charged with manslaughter in relation to Mikara's death. Trent Owen Ngaruhe Hapuku is accused of the manslaughter of Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti on January 11.
6. 6 month old Serenity Jay Scott-Dinnington. Ngaruawahia 29 April 2011
A homicide inquiry has been launched after the death of a six-month-old Ngaruawahia baby in Starship children's hospital. Serenity Jay Scott-Dinnington was admitted to Waikato Hospital with injuries that appeared to be non-accidental, and died in Starship Hospital. Nobody has been charged yet for the murder.
7. 1 week old Baby Afoa Otahuhu June 2, 2011
The mother of a newborn baby found buried in a makeshift grave in an Otahuhu backyard has been charged with murder. The baby's body was found on June 2 after someone with "first hand knowledge" tipped police off to where the boy was buried. The baby's mother, Kulukora Akau'ola, 22, from Otahuhu is facing a charge of murder. Christian Afoa, 29, from Mangere, was charged with disposing of the body to conceal its birth.
8. Auckland Newborn Ardmore July 18, 2011
Police have charged the 21-year-old mother of a baby found dead in a stream south of Auckland. The baby girl was found in a bag in a culvert on Burnside Rd
in Ardmore near the home of harness racer Tony Herlihy at the start of the month. The woman, who worked for Herlihy as a stable hand, has been charged with concealing the body of a child.
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