More than 200 people marched through Kaitaia calling for an end to child abuse and to show their town should not be judged by events unfolding in court, where convicted paedophile James Parker was due to be sentenced today.
The march started at Mana party headquarters at the north end of town and made its way through the CBD to a park opposite Kaitaia courthouse. The initial 60 people, including a class from Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, swelled to more than 200 by the time they reached the park.
Meanwhile, about 50 people with placards and banners took to the streets in Whangarei to raise awareness about child abuse in Northland.
Among those that gathered for the hikoi on Bank St, opposite the Whangarei Courthouse, included youth groups, Te Uri o Hau and families passionate about combating the abuse of children.
The small crowd later assembled at the Laurie Hall Park where more supporters joined in.
Figures from CYF show that in 2012 there were 1511 substantiated cases of child abuse reported to it in Northland last year or more than four a day on average. In Whangarei for the same period there were 911 substantiated cases of child abuse - almost two-and-a-half cases a day.