Accused killer appears in court

By Raniera Harrison

The accused killer of 4-week old Maree Takuira Mita Ngahere cried in the dock at his first appearance at the Kaitāia District Court today.

The 22-year-old male was granted interim name suppression and faces one charge of murder, and another unrelated charge of assault.

The mother of baby Maree Takuira Mita Ngahere clearly emotional today after seeing the man charged with allegedly murdering her baby.

“We're only at the beginning of our journey, we still have a long way to go and the real work starts now,” says Acting Detective Inspector Lloyd Schmid, of the Whangārei CIB.

Police confirmed they arrested the 22-year-old male after questioning at this Kaitāia property yesterday afternoon. The accused granted interim name suppression on two charges - one for the murder of Maree Takuira Mita Ngahere and a second of assault from a previous incident.

“All investigations are different. They all have their twists and turns. I have to say the three week time frame I'm happy with in this investigation” says Schmid.

The mother of the deceased was visibly emotional outside court. She declined to be interview on camera. Police confirmed today they are not ruling out further arrests in the case.

“It’s too early to say at this stage however I wouldn't rule that out.”

Police say they are working through difficult family dynamics to find justice for baby Maree.

“Police cannot do this alone, this is a partnership and they have supported us completely and it is their hard work that has got us to this position” adds Schmid.

The accused is set to re-appear at the Whangārei High Court next Thursday.