Thursday, June 30 2022

Four men have been arrested, charged with an altercation on New Year’s Day at the Manukau Velodrome car park in south Auckland that resulted in the death of a 21-year-old.

A 28-year-old Ōtara man, a 22-year-old Māngere East resident, and a 22-year-old Māngere man have all been charged with injuring Joseph Tauati with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

If convicted, each man could face up to 10 years in prison.

They were due to appear in Manuakau District Court for the first time today with a 31-year-old Ōtara man charged with assaulting Tauati. This charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

A fifth person, 31, has also been charged with assault “in connection with this incident”, police confirmed. However, the alleged victim of this accusation is not Tauati.

“As the matter is before the courts, the police are unable to comment further,” a spokesperson said.

Tauati’s death, shortly after arriving at Middlemore Hospital early on New Year’s Day morning, sparked the first major homicide investigation of 2022.

Her partner, Caylah Brown, described Tauati as “humble, selfless and had a heart of gold”. The eldest of three brothers, he will be remembered for his devotion to his family, she said.

“It wasn’t how we expected to enter the new year,” she said. “He had so much to live for and dreams he wanted to achieve. He didn’t deserve any of this and my heart breaks for his family.”

– by Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald


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