Body of Mōleni to be buried in Auckland, two appear in court

The body of the 42-year-old Tongan man from Niutōua who died in Auckland three days before he was due to return to his family in Tonga will be buried in Auckland.

His partner and children as well as brothers will travel from Tonga to New Zealand to say farewell to their loved one.

Taʻelata Mōleni died a short time after being found unconscious at St Bernard street in the suburb of Mount Wellington early Saturday morning.

A 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old male teenager, both from Otahuhu, have been charged with the assault of the victim. They were expected to appear at the Manukau court on Monday

Detective Senior Sergeant Colin Higson said further charges are possible and police are still working to identify others involved in the attack.

The identity of the teenager was not released because of his age. He was remanded without plea into the custody of Child Youth and Family.

The 21-year-old was granted interim name suppression until his next appearance and was also remanded in custody without plea.

They were expected to reappear in court in July.

Talāsinga Mōleni, the older brother of the deceased told Kaniva News he and Taʻelata’s partner and children are in the process of applying for their visas to come to New Zealand to attend the funeral.

He said they were awaiting documents from New Zealand to support their application.

Taʻelata had been drinking kava with friends who live in Bernard Street in a fundraising organised to donate some money for him.

It is normal practice for the Tongan community to organise such kava fundraising to raise money for those who visited New Zealand and were due to return to the islands.

Taʻelata was walking back to his father’s house when he was attacked by his assailants.

Talāsinga told us over the weekend he suspected Taʻelata was mistaken for gang member because of the red sweater he was wearing.

The Mt Wellington area was  Black Power stronghold. The gang is associated with blue colour.

Its fierce rival, the Mongrel Mob wears red.

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