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Pacific woman killed in New Zealand

It was unprovoked. Yet a Pacific woman making a future for herself in Christchurch, New Zealand was murdered as she got off the bus on Saturday.

Her house was a few metres away, and her 11-year-old son was eagerly waiting for his mother to arrive.

According to New Zealand Police, the alleged attacker, a 37-year-old man unknown to the victim stabbed her multiple times before fleeing the scene.

Laisa Tunidau’s 11-year-old son Eparama watched emergency teams not knowing it was his mother. Picture: Nemani Tunidau Facebook

The woman was Laisa Tunidau, said to be in her 50s. She had come to New Zealand eight years ago. Her three other children are in Fiji, her son a police officer.

The attack happened around 4.20pm as Ms Tunidau a cleaner, was returning home.

Multiple emergency vehicles including police cars surrounded the crime scene. All the commotion brought out Ms Tunidau’s 11-year-old son.

He watched the emergency services trying to save someone, not realising it was his own mother.

Nemani Tunidau and his wife Laisa who was stabbed on Saturday. Picture: Nemani Tunidau Facebook

Members of the Fijian community in Christchurch are outraged. They are angry that a man who was in care at the psychiatrist hospital was allowed to walk freely in public.

They want justice. In the meantime, a fundraiser has started to raise money for the victim’s family.

Another Pacific islander, Leonard Koroi who lives in the area where the stabbing happened, said things have been crazy and people are shaken.

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He said this was usually a quiet neighbourhood but the fatal stabbing has emerged into a situation where people are wary of even going out of their homes.

People who knew the victim described her as a loving mother who had come to New Zealand for a better life.

They said she worked hard, gave her time to the church and above all did everything she could for her youngest child.

Laisa Tunidau was tragically stabbed to death on Saturday as she got off the bus in Christchurch. Picture: Nemani Tunidau Facebook

The community have indicated that Ms Tunidau’s body would be returned to Fiji. Her husband Nemani Tunidau and son Eparama are in New Zealand.

Her other children last spoke to her on Mother’s Day which was the second Sunday of May and had not seen her in four years.

The man accused of stabbing Tunidau to death was granted interim name suppression during a brief appearance from custody at Christchurch District Court on Monday morning.

Judge Mark Callaghan remanded him in custody without plea to the High Court in Christchurch on July 15.

 

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