Family of NZ couple found dead in Tonga will no longer repatriate their bodies

The family of the New Zealand couple whose bodies were found on Vava’u last month will not return their bodies to New Zealand as planned.

The deceased were 47-year-old Ben Rocky Neill and 49-year-old Rochelle Neill, who ran the popular Hakau Adventures on Vava’u, reports Kaniva News.

Their bodies were discovered by police at their home in the village of ‘Utungake on the afternoon of Saturday 2 April, Tonga Police said.

A formal inquest confirmed electrocution was the cause of death, it said.

Their bodies were buried immediately upon advice from a doctor.

Following the tragic revelation, the Neills’ family and friends created a Givealittle page to raise money to bring the couple back to New Zealand to be buried.

However, an updated post on the Givealittle page said the family won’t go ahead with the repatriation plan.

“Sadly we have discovered we will be unable to get Rochelle and Ben home. While this is difficult to accept, the local people have created a beautiful space for them to be at rest,” the post said.

“The families still need help with a memorial for some piece of mind and trying to get their personal effects home. This is still going to be expensive and our hope is that everyone is happy for their donations to go toward this.”

A fundraiser had already amassed more than $6300 in donations at the time of writing.


  Photo file  Caption:   Ben Rocky Neill and his wife Rochelle Neill