New Zealand policeman Kali Fungavaka's headstone unveiled

    Family and friends gathered today at the Mangere Cemetery  to unveil Kali Fungavaka’s headstone. He died in Tonga on August 23, 2012.

    Six accused are on trial following Fungavaka’s death. They were charged for allegedly killing Fungavaka while he was in police custody.

    Twelve months have passed since the fatal incident that ended their beloved one,  the family are still struggling to come to terms with his death.

    “We love you Kali,” a family member said in a tearful speech he delivered during the unveiling service.

    Today they have marked his grave with a black granite headstone that features his image and the words “In loving memory of Kali Fungavaka”.

    Just below his image is an inscription: “Forever loved husband and soulmate of Audra, Son of Rosemary and Tavake, Beloved father of Shiloah, Jalen, Bailee, Mason and Dallin, Step father of Charvez and brother of David, Miriam and Bishop.  Sadly missed by all your friends & Family”.

    Mangere Police force were represented in the ceremony by Fungavaka’s colleagues and a speech made by Mangere Constable Lance Mulu tells about how he remembered Fungavaka as a friend and co-worker.

    ‘ The first thing I think about is his family and I think about his kids as we always talk about kids so much as Kali was proud of his children. He loves each and everyone of them,” Mulu said.

    “Just one thing that I always remember about Kali. He is one of the funniest guy I have ever been around. He has such an awesome sense of humour. Because we were about the same age we were able to relate to the same old songs from the 80s,  the 90s.”

    Mr Fungavaka was in Tonga attending his grandfather’s funeral. On August 17 he was arrested for minor drunkenness and taken to a police station in Nuku’alofa.

    While in police custody he  suffered severe head injuries. A week later he died in hospital. His  family have recently sued the Tongan government seeking compensation, redress and  an apology.

     

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