Amid an ongoing inquest into the twins' killing this week, mother Macsyna King has announced she is releasing a 'tell-all' book co-written with Ian Wishart. Photo / Brett Phibbs
More than 1000 people have signed up to a Facebook group urging the mass boycott of a book written in collaboration with the mother of murdered babies Chris and Cru Kahui.
Chris Kahui Snr was accused and acquitted of inflicting fatal injuries on the three-month-old Kahui twins in 2008.
His legal team contended Macsyna King, the boys' mother and Kahui's partner, carried out the murders.
Amid an ongoing inquest into the twins' killing this week, King announced she was releasing a "tell-all" book co-written with Ian Wishart.
It would give her version of circumstances surrounding the twins' deaths and name who she thought the killer was.
A Facebook group set up today said the book was King's attempt to "profit from her attrocious deeds".
It urged people to boycott it, along with all other Ian Wishart books, until it was pulled from shelves.
By 7:15pm, the group had attracted more than 7400 supporters, many of whom left angry messages accusing King of profiting from the death of her sons.
Author Ian Wishart previously told TV3 the book was a story of "horror from the streets of South Auckland".
He agreed to write the book after King approached last year asking him to tell her side of the story.
It would provide new information on a case that still provokes anger across New Zealand, he said.
"There's a huge sense of outrage that two twins could be killed and no-one could actually be pinned for their murder.
"The back cover of the book says it makes Once Were Warriors look like kindergarten - it really does."
Mr Wishart said he had already started getting hate mail for writing the book.
Health workers needed to stop similar cases
Meanwhile, one of the country's preeminent experts on child abuse says the child health workforce needs to be transformed so it is also a child protection workforce in order to prevent further cases like that of the Kahui twins.
Dr Patrick Kelly, clinical director of the child protection team at Auckland's Starship Hospital, was speaking at the inquest into the deaths of the babies.
He said the incidence of child abuse in New Zealand is "at least as high and in some cases higher" than other parts of the world.
"For example, if you look at cases of abusive head injuries, as were suffered by the Kahuis, our rates seem higher than in the United Kingdom. If you look at the World Health Organisation study on sexual abuse, the rates in New Zealand were among the highest in all the countries that were looked at.
"Although it's hard to be sure about prevalence figures, comparatively speaking, New Zealand's record is not good."
Dr Kelly said it was clear that there needed to be dedicated child protection teams working in every district health board in the country made up of staff from police, Child, Youth and Family, and the primary health sector. At the moment there were only teams in Auckland, Canterbury and Waikato.
"Currently, even when you combine information from all three agencies, because they didn't collect their data in any kind of uniformed, systematic way,.. we still can't answer the question: in New Zealand, what particular constellation of risk puts children in a hospital with a head injury?"
Healthcare workers also needed to be encouraged to ask the hard questions when confronted with possible cases of child abuse.
To illustrate this, Dr Kelly told the court of an eight-month-old boy who was admitted to hospital with severe head injuries.
His caregiver had told doctors the baby fell from a high-chair which had became entangled in a vacuum cleaner chord, and no investigation was conducted.
Two months later the baby was dead from multiple blows to the head. A clear diagnosis was that he had been murdered by his caregiver.
"I think in retrospect it's fairly clear that this first head injury was unlikely to have happened from a fall from a high-chair. It may have, but what was needed was a much more comprehensive assessment at the time of that first presentation."
There was also a lack of training for healthcare workers in identifying the subtle signs of abuse, he said.
"I think most doctors you can expect to manage the obvious things, but it's the subtle things that aren't missed. If a child comes in with a massive black eye and an obvious strap mark from being struck, most GPs aren't going to miss it, even if they've had no training. But most pre-verbal children don't present like that."
There should be a statutory requirement on the health, and also education, systems to make them responsible child protection, along with Child, Youth and Family, which had a "huge" workload, he said.
"I think if one had an entire health workforce committed to that degree of quality secondary prevention it would also have an affect on primary prevention because they would be working with families, talking to families about violence, hitting children, keeping children safe and all the other things that come out of good parenting practice."
The inquest will hear evidence from Mr Kahui's sister, Mona, tomorrow.