Families prepare for vigil for murdered Tongan RSE worker

The brother of a Tongan seasonal worker who was allegedly murdered in Blenheim has arrived in Auckland to prepare a vigil and prayer service in honour of him.

Mateni Lynch was in Christchurch to see his younger brother Hiko’s body before he flew to Auckland.

The Lynch’s paternal and maternal families are preparing for the service at the Vea Funeral Home in Ōtara this weekend.

Hiko’s body is expected to arrive in Auckland tomorrow (Friday) from Christchurch.  

His body will be flown to Tonga next week for the funeral.

“The family is devastated by his death”, Hiko’s maternal uncle Uilou Fungavaka told Kaniva News yesterday (Wednesday).

Hiko was allegedly stabbed to death in Blenheim in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Two men, aged 33 and 37 have been arrested and charged with murder.

The men, who were both granted interim name suppression, are alleged members of the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

They were both remanded in custody until their next appearance on July 9.

Eight other people were arrested and charged with other offences.

Two other Tongan men were hospitalised for injuries sustained in what police believe was an altercation between seasonal workers and gang members.

Hiko worked as a vineyard worker for Hortus. He died while he was out celebrating a friend’s birthday.

Marlborough Area Commander Inspector Simon Feltham said further arrests were likely as police continued to investigate.

“We acknowledge that [Sunday’s] incident will be concerning to the wider community.

“Police can assure the community that violent crimes will not be tolerated, and we will hold those who offend to account.”


Photo file supplied  Caption: RSE Worker Hiko Lynch