15 Oct 2015

Toddler dies in hospital after assault

7:01 pm on 15 October 2015

A Hastings toddler has died after being assaulted in his home earlier this week.

Officers were called to two-year-old Matiu Wereta's home about midday on Monday.

He was being treated for head injuries in Hawke's Bay Hospital's intensive care unit but died last night, with the police saying his injuries were not accidental.

A 17-year-old from Rotorua, who has interim name suppression, has been charged with assaulting a child, and appeared in the Hastings District Court earlier this week.

He was remanded on bail and will reappear in court at the beginning of November.

'Happy, smiley, adventurous boy'

Matiu's family, who live in Flaxmere, have released a statement saying he was a happy, smiley, adventurous boy who loved being active and getting involved in activities including kapa haka.

They said he attended Te Tirahou Daycare at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, where he was popular and loved to sing, dance and play with his friends and teachers.

His death was a tragic event that was extremely hard for any family to comprehend or experience and they had a very supportive whanau around them, the statement said.