Whānau call for justice for missing loved ones with Parliament march

Families have marched to Parliament today calling for justice for their missing loved ones.

Jasmin Gray, mother of missing woman Breanna Muriwai, was one of the organisers of the rally, which started at Civic Square.

"I'm at that point where I want to speak for my daughter 'cause she can no longer speak for herself," she said.

"I miss seeing her face, I miss seeing her smile, I miss her — just everything about her."

Gray said the march was about raising awareness of all missing persons in New Zealand.

"Just do the right thing. It shouldn't be up to us marching to Parliament to be heard."

Anaherā Rigby, sister of Ariki Rigby, who is the victim in a homicide investigation, said she didn't want any other family to go through what hers has experienced.

She said the situation had been made worse by "mistakes" by police in their initial investigation.

The 18-year-old was found in a burnt-out car in Havelock North last year.

Her sister said officers initially mistook her body for that of a sheep.

"We are always going to have to see it everywhere that she was mistaken as an animal. It's not OK 'cause she was more beautiful than that," Anaherā said.

"I would have done anything for her and I will — I don't care how long it takes."

A police spokesperson said investigators have spent thousands of hours on both cases, and their work continues.

"We do believe someone out there knows what has happened to Breanna and to Ariki," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"Everybody involved wants to resolve these cases for Breanna and Ariki and their whānau, and cases like this hit home."

They said police are communicating with whānau when appropriate, making inquiries and reviewing information.

"We understand there is frustration because of the length of time the investigations are taking, but both remain active investigations."

They stated finding Breanna is a focus for the police and there's hope today's march will raise awareness of both cases which leads to information being shared with investigators.

Several family members met with Justice Minister Kiritapu Allan today, with Gray calling it "a start".

Allan said she's asked for a meeting to be set up with the families and the Chief Victims Advisor, who provides independent advice to the minister on issues and improving the justice system.

"Because there are a range of things that failed for them probably and if it's failing for them, it would be failing for many victims across the country," Allan said.

Police said the biggest challenge in missing persons cases is information.

"In many cases, it's members of the public who are responsible for a missing person being found, because of the information they share with us," a police spokesperson said.

Police said missing person cases are reviewed extensively.


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