Vic­tim had ‘in­fec­tious laugh’

South Waikato News - - Front Page - PHILLIPA YALDEN

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.

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