Victim had ‘infectious laugh’
Family of a slain Bay of Plenty woman say they don’t want to feel any hate towards the wider family of the man accused of her murder.
Queenie Selena Thompson, 41, was found dead at a property at the Ongaroto Marae village near Atiamuri on Wednesday, April 20.
Her former partner, Jamie Te Hiko, has been charged with her murder. He is currently remanded in custody and will reappear in the High Court at Rotorua next week.
Police are continuing inquiries into the death of the Queenie, who was known as Selena or Nina, but it was understood she died from blunt force trauma.
Her body was found inside a bedroom in a property off the forestry road to Mangakino after police were alerted at 7am.
Two weeks after Selena’s death, her first cousin Charlie Tepana said the family were full of mixed emotions.
‘‘We were brought up in a family where all of the wider whanau were brought up as brothers and sisters, we were all really close.’’
‘‘She was a kind-natured person, loved to laugh, loved to spend time with people and family.’’
He said whanau were taking it ‘‘day by day’’.
‘‘We don’t want to feel any hate, we want to love the beautiful person she was and not confuse that with any overwhelming sense of anger, as there has been at times.’’
The 41-year-old grandmother of one leaves behind four children – Laza, 25, Tara-lise, 20, and six year old twins Layla and Telia. They would now grow up with no mother, he said.
‘‘Sadly Tara-lise turned 20 the day after we buried their mother. She was a loving mother. She was much loved by the community.’’
‘‘She had this infectious laugh, if you talk to anyone about her they will talk about how happy she was – if she started laughing the whole room would start laughing.’’ Selena, who grew up in Tokoroa, was farewelled on Anzac Day at a tangihanga service at Ruapeka Marae off State Highway 5 in the Fitzgerald Glade.
Cars lined the length of three rugby fields, Tepana said.
‘‘It was the most cars there I have ever seen.’’
Those attending had taken inspiration in the eulogy delivered by her son Laza.
‘‘He gave a message that he doesn’t want to feel any hate, and of course some of our older aunties and uncles are trying to deal with that.’’
‘‘He said it has been the worst time of his life, but at the same time, the day of the burial was one of the happiest times – to see so many people pay tribute.’’
About 50 family gathered at the three bedroom family home in Tokoroa to mourn.
‘‘They stayed for about five days. We all spent time looking after one another, just talked and laughed and cried. It’s been a real tragedy.’’
‘‘She was much loved by the community.’’ Charlie Tepana
Police were called to Ongaroto Marae, Kinleith, at 7am on April 20.
Queenie ‘Selena’ Thompson was found dead in a house at Ongaroto Marae village.