Ngāpuhi mother of two, Karis Vesey woke up on Mothers Day and after reading an article on the horrific abuse that led to 3-year-old Moko Rangitoheriri’s death, she decided to take a stand.
Vesey decided to organise a march for Moko.
She says, “Basically, I woke up on Sunday getting ready to go spend Mother's Day at the beach with my girls, and I read the article by Duncan Garner and was stirred to do something. I put it up (on Facebook) originally thinking that maybe some mates and myself would March, but all people who are seeing it are wanting to get involved.”
Vesey says she was contacted by four other women, equally passionate about the issue. Together, they have managed to organise four marches around Aotearoa and hundreds of people have already shown interest.
Vesey is adamant that child abuse is a national issue that must be addressed.
When asked what she aims to achieve from a march for Moko, Vesey says, “National attention. The attention of the government. The attention of everyone.”
New Zealanders have proven that they can unite for a cause in the past and she's hopeful the march against child abuse in New Zealand will gain the same support.
“We marched against the forced removal of aboriginal people off their land in Kirikiriroa, Auckland etc. marched against drilling in the Maui and hectors dolphin sanctuary, March everywhere. But will we March to bring attention to the abuse and killing of our children? To force the government to see change needs to occur on all levels? I've invited Anne Tolley to speak on the new child care and protection initiatives, I've invited many more people. So hopefully they stand up.”
Guest speakers will be attending, including Labour's Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern and men from the It's not OK campaign. Other guest speakers are yet to be confirned.
The marches for Moko will all take place on Sunday May 22 in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch and Wellington.
For more information click on the links below:
Christchurch - https://www.facebook.com/events/1018353731582115/
Wellington - https://www.facebook.com/events/963465947100533/