Four missing girls in Australia returned safely to mother

The four young Māori sisters who went missing in Australia after being taken by their father, have been returned safely to their mother.

The girls are of Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki descent and they are grandchildren of former Māori broadcaster Maihi Nikora.

Shared custody had been arranged between Nikora's daughter, Stacey Smith who is the children's mother, and their father.  The girls were missing for more than six weeks.

Charity-Beth is the eldest at 11 years old, Evergreen 8, Summer 3 and one-year-old Serenity.

The girls were taken from day-care by their father, Joseph Smith on October 27.  

No further information on their return have been provided.