A floral tribute to Connor Morris rests near the spot where
he was fatally attacked. Photo: NZ Herald/Sarah Ivey
As Connor Morris' grieving family prepared for his tangi
last night at an Auckland boxing gym, police said they were
hunting for the weapon and the person or people responsible for
Friends and relatives from around the world were making plans
to return to New Zealand after the 26-year-old partner of
Millie Elder-Holmes, daughter of the late broadcaster Sir
Paul Holmes, was killed in a fight in Don Buck Rd, Massey.
The body of Mr Morris - the son of a prominent Head Hunters
Motorcycle Club member - was returned to his family
yesterday. Gang members waited for it to arrive at Fight Club
88 in Ellerslie, a gym with strong links to the Head Hunters
and where Mr Morris had regularly trained.
Police are describing the incident as a "random" fight with
no gang links. Yesterday, two men who were at the scene when
Mr Morris was fatally injured appeared in court on charges
relating to outstanding fines and breach of community work.
But they were not kept in custody. No arrests have been made
over the killing.
Criminologist Dr Greg Newbold said he would be surprised if
there was any retribution when the accused killer was
"The Head Hunters are a very organised group. Normally if
there was going to be retaliation, the gang would have a
meeting and they would discuss the matter fully; they
wouldn't just run in there and do something in a hot-headed
It was more likely the gang would let justice take its
course, but the killer would likely be in danger from gang
sympathisers once imprisoned.
Dr Newbold also expected a heightened police presence at the
funeral and any court proceedings.
Mr Morris, a construction site manager, is believed to have
been struck in the back of the head with a machete. Police
said yesterday they were still searching for the weapon.
The scene remained cordoned off and 30 detectives were
working on the case. Forensic testing continued and a white
Honda car had been towed from the scene.
A family death notice in today's Herald reads: "One of life's
precious gems will be forever missed. Our hearts are broken.
Beloved son of Chris and Julie, cherished brother of Cymmion
and Tonto, adored uncle of Izzy and Gabby, best friend and
soulmate of Millie."
Fight Club 88, in Marua Rd, will act as a place for family
and friends to pay their last respects. A founding trustee of
the trust that runs the gym, Wayne Doyle, said the Morris
family had requested a tangi at the premises.
"He [Connor] trained here for a few years so we know him
quite well and he is more than welcome here," said Mr Doyle.
"The family asked specifically for him to be held here, so we
just accommodated their wishes."
The club announced the decision in an online notice to its
"Our boxing gym will be closed this week or until further
notice," it said, "due to upstairs being used for a tangi for
Connor Morris, who will be starting his journey from here to
the great hunting halls of the Valhalla."
In Norse mythology, the Valhalla is where warriors who die in
combat go after death.
Yesterday, a lone bouquet of pink flowers lay on the doorstep
of the Massey home Mr Morris is believed to have shared with
Ms Elder-Holmes, his partner of six years.
She posted a link on her Facebook page to a web memorial to
him. "R.I.P Connor Morris" had amassed close to 4000 "likes",
or shows of support, within hours of its creation yesterday
Meanwhile, a West Auckland resident has described hearing a
woman "screaming her head off" after the fatal attack.
Mr Morris was at a housewarming on Don Buck Rd when he and
several others left to get supplies. They had walked only
metres before an altercation erupted with a group outside a
A neighbour, who lives between the two homes, said there had
been loud music and plenty of "whooping and yahooing" at the
housewarming before things turned sour.
"It all went quiet and I couldn't see anything but then there
was one woman screaming her head off."
Mr Morris was treated by medics but died on the way to
Jan Tuua, who lives next door to where the housewarming took
place, said the occupants were a young family who had
recently moved in.
"It [the party] was really loud . . . They had a bit of a DJ
Pankaj Patel, the owner of nearby Keith's Superette,
described Mr Morris and Ms Elder-Holmes as a lovely couple.
He said they would often come into his shop to buy dog food
and other items, and if nobody else was waiting to be served
Mr Morris would stop awhile to talk with him.