The mournful uncle of the tragically slain toddler, whom the family affectionately named Ruthless-Empire, reached out to Oranga Tamariki, the New Zealand agency responsible for the well-being of children. His plea for intervention was driven by grave concerns over the toddler’s perilous living conditions coupled with what he perceived as a significant risk to the child’s life.
The uncle, Ngatanahira Reremoana, ardently believes that the reputed organization failed to extend much-needed support and intervention to prevent the sorrowful spectacle that unfolded. “They failed our Baby Ru,” he confided in heartbroken retrospection.
The toddler’s life was abruptly cut short amidst the walls of a Lower Hutt residence, where he occupied the same space as three adults. Ruthless-Empire Souljah Reign Rhind Shephard Wall sustained severe and fatal injuries from blunt force trauma during late October, breathing his last at the Hutt Hospital, a few hours post-injury.
Reremoana, who had voiced his concerns regarding Ruthless-Empire’s well-being in the letter to the responsible agency with the subject line “child in danger”, highlighted the toddler’s rough conditions and strongly suggested immediate action. The living conditions left much to be desired, as he observed drugs at the residence, making it apparent that his nephew lacked the care he truly deserved.
In response to Reremoana’s message, an intake social worker reverted, seeking more details, and suggesting contacting the police for a welfare check should there be any immediate safety concerns. Reremoana later claimed that he found baby Ruthless-Empire sleeping amidst dirty laundry, in a room infested with flies and filled with the heavy dampness of ungoverned humidity.
Attempting to recount the horrors he had witnessed, he noted, “The floors were black, carpets were dirty, there were dishes around his kai preparing area and the flies were the worst.” His heart ached seeing the child’s living conditions. He gave the child lunch and decided to take him away from that house, unable to bear leaving him there.
Following his encounter, Reremoana vehemently expressed his belief to local media that despite their effort to protect Ruthless-Empire, his whānau (extended family) failed to fight hard enough. He maintained that Oranga Tamariki should be held responsible for declining to intervene in the situation.
Sarah Reremoana, one of the toddler’s matriarchs, revealed the child’s mother was managing to cope, aided by the comforting presence and support of her family. The chief executive of Oranga Tamariki, Chappie Te Kani, expressed his deep remorse over the child’s death, confirming that Ruthless-Empire was not under the agency’s care at the time of his tragic passing.
The police spokesperson confirmed a welfare check was carried out in early July, during which no such concerns came to light. The household which sadly witnessed the toddler’s untimely demise consisted of his mother, Storm Angel Wall, along with her companions Rosie Morunga and Dylan Ross. With the investigation ongoing, Detective Inspector Nick Pritchard emphasized the indefensible violence inflicted on the innocent child, stating, “He should’ve been safe and loved, and should not have died as he did.”