An emotional farewell procession for Luke Tipene in West Auckland

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

The 16-year-old charged with the murder of Luke Tipene appeared in the Auckland Youth Court today as Luke's family and friends held a memorial service at the Glenora Bears Rugby League Clubrooms before returning to Ahipara.

Hundreds of people made up this farewell procession, and the silence after the haka was just as powerful, as his family left to take him to be buried next to his father.

Inspector Scott Beard said, "I don't think anybody who was here today wouldn't have been touched by emotion of the people who spoke and sang, and you just have to look at all the people here to realise the respect and the mana that Luke had."

As the service for Luke was held, the 16-year-old boy charged with Luke's murder appeared in Youth Court.  He has been remanded in custody and will appear at the High Court at the end of the month. 

Inspector Beard also explained, "We have a 16-year-old boy who appeared in court today, he has a family as well, and there are grieving for a totally different reason.  So there is two families very affected by this incident."

His uncle Sean Wilson told Te Kāea, "He (Luke) tried to pick his friend up and someone outside the party deliberately stabbed him and he bled to death."

The family now make their journey north to Ahipara.