Family push back pain to reopen dairy

For eight weeks the Railside Dairy, where owner Arun Kumar was allegedly murdered, had been closed.

Yesterday, the shop in the heart of Henderson, west Auckland, opened again.

Mr Kumar's son Shivneel bravely manned the counter, though he wished he didn't have to.

The dairy has been on the market for several weeks and the family hoped they wouldn't have to reopen, but the bills have mounted.

"We hoped to have sold by today. But we can't really stay home, we have to pay the rent," said Shivneel Kumar.

"The first week is going to be pretty hard for both of us. Hopefully the place sells -- the sooner the better."

His mother Anita, who saw her husband killed in June, spent a couple of hours in the store yesterday morning but had to go home.

"Getting up here was courageous enough," her son said.

Nearby shop owners were also quick to pay tribute to the strength of the Kumar family.

Great North Bakehouse's Sol Kang described them as "very brave", and Kylie Hoppenjans from Cafe Cucina next door shared the sentiment.

"I can't imagine what it's like for them," Ms Hoppenjans said.

"I think it's incredibly brave and strong that they've done that."

Shivneel Kumar said it had taken a lot of counselling and soul searching to get to the point where they could open the shop to the public again.

But well-meaning customers passing on their sympathies had inadvertently made it more difficult for Mrs Kumar, he said.

"Every single customer comes in and has their own story, and mum has to go through it again."

He had been given leave from his job until November but hoped it would not take that long to find a buyer for the shop.

Ms Hoppenjans said there had been a greater police presence since June, and all the children who used to "hang around" outside the shops on Great North Rd had gone.

"It's definitely been cleaned up," she said.

But the focus would be on their neighbours at the Railside Dairy for the next few weeks, she said.

"Around here there's a strong community, especially since what happened with Arun."

A 13-year-old charged with Mr Kumar's murder will appear in the High Court at Auckland this week along with a 12-year-old charged with manslaughter.

The pair have name suppression.

- Rob Kidd of APNZ

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