Brother arrives in Auckland ahead of vigil to honour murdered Tongan RSE worker this weekend

    The body of Tongan RSE worker who was allegedly murdered in Blenheim on Sunday will be honoured in Auckland this weekend.

    Hiko Fungavaka. Photo/Supplied

    Hiko Lynch, 23, had been stabbed to death while two others were seriously injured in what is believed to have been an altercation between local RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) workers and members of the Rebels gang.

    Following the incident, 10 people were arrested on a range of charges including murder, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault and disorderly behaviour.

    A 33-year-old man and a 37-year-old man who have been jointly charged with murder following a stabbing appeared in the Blenheim district court on Monday.

    Hiko’s eldest brother Māteni Lynch is now in Auckland with their paternal and maternal families to prepare vigil and prayer services for Hiko.

    Māteni was in New Zealand together with Hiko under the RSE programme but they worked for two separate companies.

    He was in Christchurch to see Hiko’s body before he flew to Auckland.

    The deceased body is expected to arrive in Auckland this Friday from Christchurch. It will be flown back home to Tonga next week.

    “The family is devastated by his death”, Hiko’s maternal uncle Uilou Fungavaka told Kaniva News this morning.

    The services at the Vea Funeral Home, Ōtara this weekend will be organised by the paternal and maternal families.

    Hiko worked as a vineyard worker for Hortus. He died while he was out celebrating a friend’s birthday.

    Marlborough Area Commander Inspector Simon Feltham said further arrests were likely as police continued to investigate.

    “We acknowledge that [Sunday’s] incident will be concerning to the wider community.

    “Police can assure the community that violent crimes will not be tolerated, and we will hold those who offend to account.”

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