Homicide investigation continues as Kawerau whānau mourns family member

By Te Ao - Māori News

A Kawerau whānau is in mourning after the death of their family member Michelle Kaipara, 49.

Police released her name today as part of a homicide investigation of events in Kawerau on Saturday afternoon.

A 20-year-old man was due to appear in the Tauranga District Court today charged with murder and an unrelated assault.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Rawlinson, Area Manager Investigations Western Bay of Plenty said police extended their sympathies to Kaipera’s loved ones.

Meanwhile, her family issued a statement, saying: “Our whānau is devastated.

“Michelle was the epitome of joy and love, and she will be sorely missed.

“Her memory lives on in her tamariki who are suffering severely at this time.

“We send our heartfelt thanks to each and every person for the outpouring of love, acts of kindness and empathy shown to our whānau.

“We grieve with you as we remember the beautiful lady Michelle was and the lovely memories she’s left etched on our minds and in our hearts."

The whānau asked media to respect its wishes not to provide any further comment as the matter was before the courts.

A funeral service will be held this week in Te Teko ”to farewell our darling mother, sister, daughter, cousin, aunty, niece and friend.”

Details are available on the Te Tangi Pānui Page on Facebook.