Millie Elder-Holmes. Photo Getty
Connor Morris helped Millie Elder-Holmes to turn her life
The 26-year-old construction site manager, who battled
P-addiction alongside the daughter of Sir Paul Holmes, died
late on Saturday night after being struck in the back of the
head with a machete in Massey, West Auckland.
It seemed the young couple, who marked their sixth
anniversary in June, had overcome their personal demons in
recent years and were looking forward to a future filled with
new opportunities, with talk of children on the cards.
But Mr Morris' decision to walk to a service station on
Saturday night triggered a chain of events which brought an
abrupt end to the couple's dreams.
It is understood Mr Morris was at his sister's housewarming
party in Massey when he and others decided to head out for
It was meant to be a short trip along Don Buck Rd but there
was an exchange of words outside a house where another party
was taking place.
A fight broke out and Mr Morris was hit on the back of his
head. It is understood the boyfriend of a cousin of Mr Morris
held the attacker down until police arrived.
Armed police guard the scene where Connor Morris was
fatally attacked. Photo: NZ Herald/Richard Robinson
Sources have told the Herald that Miss Elder-Holmes, who
had remained at the housewarming several doors down, arrived
after becoming aware of the incident.
She held Mr Morris in her arms but efforts to save him were
Mr Morris was pronounced dead while being transported to
His family have strong links to the Head Hunters gang but
Detective Inspector Greg Cramer said the fight was not
believed to have been gang related. Police have described it
as a random attack.
Several residents said they heard the commotion and in
particular a woman screaming about midnight.
A number of people were injured in the altercation. "There
were a number of minor injuries consistent with a fight,"
said Mr Cramer.
Two people were arrested for disorder-related offences - one
of whom received medical treatment for breathing difficulties
- but no charges had been laid last night.
Mr Morris was a site manager for Auckland company BCR
Concrete Construction. His boss, Glen Donovan, was devastated
by the death of "a great guy".
"He was more than just your average employee. He got on
really well with my wife and kids. He was loyal, honest, and
turned up every day."
Mr Morris had worked for the company for just over three
Brother Calen Morris posted a message of grief on Facebook.
"my big hearted little brother was murdered ... i love my
family and im sorry i wasnt there ... be strong morris crew
and ill see you all soon."
Ms Elder-Holmes could not be reached for comment, but has
previously spoken about her relationship with Mr Morris and
how he helped to turn her life around.
"Connor is my biggest fan," she told the Herald on Sunday
earlier this year while talking about her Clean Eatz NZ
Facebook page, through which she promotes recipes and workout
ideas in line with her outlook on healthy living. "He gets so
excited and proud of me for my page."
Facebook pictures show the couple happy and in love. Late
last year they travelled to Asia, Dubai, Italy, Paris,
Amsterdam and Greece on an OE.
Ms Elder-Holmes' life begun to unravel in 2008 when she was
arrested on drugs charges. Her falling out with Sir Paul, her
broadcasting-icon father, also made headlines, highlighting
problems the then 19-year-old was struggling with.
She credited Mr Morris for helping her through her battle
To come clean, the couple lived a hermit-like existence,
eating, sleeping and watching TV in their flat.
She told Metro magazine that after four years of a
drug-addled lifestyle, the first three months were hell.
"It was horrible. Really, really horrible. You get really
fat. I went from 55kg to 85kg."
Messages of support flooded Facebook yesterday. "My thoughts
and prayers go out to two amazing people," said Maky Redon.
"Millie i can't tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Connor
you'll be missed dearly. Will always miss going around to see
you both. Rest in peace big guy."
Lynda Doorish wrote: "So sorry to hear the sad news Millie -
we all feel so sad with this terrible news."
Their time together
• According to his Facebook page, Connor Morris, the son of a
patched Head Hunters gang member, attended Avondale
• Millie Elder-Holmes, daughter of New Zealand current
affairs icon Sir Paul Holmes and child psychologist Dr
Hinemoa Elder, attended the private Diocesan School for
• The young couple began dating in June 2008.
• They made headlines a number of times between 2008 and 2010
as they faced repeated criminal charges, mostly for drug
• In 2012, after having been drug-free for two years, Ms
Elder-Holmes admitted she had been "a bit of a shit", with
little respect for her family, as she battled her $1000-a-day
addiction. But she credited Mr Morris with helping to save
her from that decline and turn her life around.
• She would not have won the battle with P without him, she
said in a 2012 interview in Metro. They eventually became
clean without professional help by living a hermit-like
existence, eating, sleeping and watching television in their
West Auckland flat, which she said was a haven for the
• On June 6 this year, the couple marked their six-year
anniversary. Mr Morris posted a photo of them and commented:
"Marking our six year anniversary today with my ride-or-die
chick ... Here's to many more years to come."
• The two had their first OE together between September and
December last year, travelling through Europe and Asia and
both meeting distant family members in Italy and Greece.