Family of 7-year-old who went missing in Kawerau harassed

The mother of the 7-year-old who went missing but was found in Kawerau yesterday says that since the story has been shared on social media her family have been harassed and criticised. 

Ngati Tangira of Kawerau says the main thing is that her daughter Hine-Ataahua was found and is safe.

She has lived in Kawerau for eight years and when her daughter went missing last night her community helped her out.

“I just want to thank the community for their help and support last night, their generosity.  My baby is home safe and sound with me and her siblings and her dad,” says Tangira.

More than 200 people helped to look for her daughter, Hine-Ataahua.

After asking for help on social media the comments became demeaning.

“If we can stop the social media bullying, it's not worth it, my baby's home that's all that matters.  Thank you for your generosity.” 

Kawerau local Brenda Wardlaw helped in the search last night and is happy that the girl was found.

“You couldn't fit any cars in our New World car park last night.  We came in, we organised and started the door-to-door, within an hour of us starting the door-to-door we had the girl found, she was on her friend's couch asleep.” 

Kawerau has a population of over 6,000.  Last night the community was quick to rally together.

“It would have been a scary experience for the parents.  I would be like that too if my pēpē went missing, especially that young- although Kawerau is a very safe place. 

"Anything like that, if it happens to you in Kawerau everybody comes together,” says Lilly Putt Williams.

Police say that the girl is safe and well and no further action will be taken.