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A 13-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of his caregiver in northern Taranaki.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward says the teenager will appear in the New Plymouth District Court today.
Police have yet to release the name of the 50-year-old woman shot dead in her home at Okoki, near Urenui, yesterday.
Grant Coward says there's still significant investigative work to do, including extensive scene and forensic examinations.
The house remains under police guard this morning.
Police are waiting for a full scene examination to be completed in the coming days, during which the body will be removed and then a post mortem examination held.
Sergeant Coward says the boy is not related to the dead woman.
He says staff will be working with the family to try to find out more about what happened yesterday.
"It's all a bit sketchy at the moment. We'll be working through with an occupant from the address, and advising next of kin of the outcome of this."
Grant Coward says a scene examination will also take place at the Okoki home, which is inland from Urenui.
They want to hear from anyone who saw a white four door Ford Telstar car that was driven from the victim's home and stopped by police in Waitara yesterday afternoon.
A foster advocate hopes the shooting won't put people off deciding to look after troubled children.
Fostering Kids Chief Executive Iris Clanachan says extreme cases are unusual, but children in care do need special attention.
"One does have to realise that children here have been traumatised. That they have been neglected and abused, and some of these children will act out in ways that are unusual."
Iris Clanachan says at the same time, children in care are no different from others, in that they need to take responsibility for their actions.
Image: NZ Herald