Hundreds of people packed the LDS Stake Centre in Tepapa this morning to remember the former New Zealand police detective who died last week after he was shot in Hawaii by a relative.
Joshua Tuiono Liava’a’s body was flown to New Zealand while 18-year-old Samuela Mataele was charged with his murder.
Mourners, including community leaders and friends, overflowed outside the building to pay tribute to the 66-year-old father and husband.
Members of the former New Zealand Tongan Society for Political Reform in Tonga Inc., in which Liava’a was president for five years described him as compassionate and kind-hearted.
Liava’a, known as Josh, was in Hawaii to visit friends and families when the incident happened.
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Today's service brought together family members from Tonga, USA and Australia. His brother ‘Uhilamoelangi Liava’a, a former secretary for Tonga’s ministry of finance and MP attended Josh’s funeral.
The burial service concluded with family photos where Liava’a’s children and grandchildren surrounded his cemetery.