27 Feb 2024

Weymouth toddler murder: Mother given home detention after failing to protect Arapera Fia

3:38 pm on 27 February 2024
Arapera Fia who died in Starship on 31 October 2021 - 2 years old

Arapera Fia died in Starship Children's Hospital after being beaten by her mother's partner. Photo: Supplied / police

The mother of two-year-old Arapera Fia, who was brutally murdered during Auckland's 2021 Covid lockdown, has been sentenced to home detention for her part in the little girl's death.

Nikitalove Tekotia was sentenced on Tuesday at the High Court in Auckland to 12 months' home detention.

She earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter by failing to protect her daughter from injury.

Arapera was found badly injured at a property in Weymouth, south Auckland on the evening of 31 October 2021.

She was rushed to Starship Children's Hospital but died hours later, just after midnight the next day.

Tekotia's partner, Tyson Brown, was in 2023 jailed for life for her murder, with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years.

During his trial, the jury heard he brutally beat the toddler, leaving her covered in bruises from head to toe.

At his sentencing, the court heard from Arapera's father Malcolm Fia, who said Brown had taken his "legacy" away.

"I will never get the chance to hold [Arapera] again or to take her to her first day of school, graduating from high school, her prom, her 21st, everything."

He said he spent hours by her grave, sometimes sleeping there.

Detective Inspector Warrick Adkin said in a statement on Tuesday that Tekotia's sentencing marked the end of a case that was often challenging for the officers involved.

"Investigating a homicide is a responsibility not taken lightly, especially in cases when it involves the death of an innocent child in suspicious circumstances."

Adkin acknowledged the investigation team, "many of whom have families of their own", for their diligence.

He also acknowledged Arapera's whānau.

"[They] cooperated and assisted police right from the outset, so that we could find justice for this innocent young girl," he said.

"Today's sentencing brings what has been a challenging case to a close, and I wish Arapera's whānau well as they move forward with their lives."