Funeral held for woman killed in Christchurch

A funeral service has been held for Laisa Waka Tunidau who was fatally stabbed in Christchurch on...
A funeral service has been held for Laisa Waka Tunidau who was fatally stabbed in Christchurch on Saturday. Photo: Facebook
A funeral service has been held in Christchurch for the woman killed while walking home from work in broad daylight on Saturday afternoon.

Friends, family and workmates of Laisa Maraia Waka Tunidau, in her 50s, gathered together to sing hymns and share testimonies about their loved one last night.

Laisa Maraia Waka Tunidau. Photo: Supplied
Laisa Maraia Waka Tunidau. Photo: Supplied
The service was held at the St John Moraia Fijian Methodist Church, in Christchurch, and was live-streamed on Facebook; with family members saying Tunidau's body will be returned to her homeland of Fiji today.

It is understood the mother-of-four will be laid to rest in her husband's village on Saturday - a week after the she was fatally stabbed metres away from her home in the suburb of Sockburn in Christchurch.

Eulogies were given by Tunidau's colleagues, family, church community and an emotional Nemani Tunidau - her husband - who looked down at the ground before speaking.

Nemani Tunidau spoke of the sadness their family was going through and spoke of his children.

He also thanked the local community for the ongoing support they had received since the incident.

A representative from a retirement village in Ilam, where Tunidau worked as a cleaner, also spoke at the service.

Flowers outside a house on Cheyenne St in Sockburn where Laisa Maraia Waka Tunidau was fatally...
Flowers outside a house on Cheyenne St in Sockburn where Laisa Maraia Waka Tunidau was fatally stabbed. Photo: Kurt Bayer / NZ Herald
A beautiful soul who like to greet all 'good morning'

The representative said colleagues and residents alike had shared stories over Tunidau over the past few days.

"[She was] quiet, friendly, kind, respectful, grateful and always, always smiling," the staffer said.

Residents at the retirement home had also shared stories and paid tribute to a woman who showed care for those around her; with one resident describing Tunidau as being more than what her job description was.

"Laisa was a beautiful, beautiful lady who was very caring and more like a caregiver to me - I will miss her so much. Love to all her family."

Staff at the home acknowledged the warmth Tunidau brought into a room when she arrived for her shift.

"In the early mornings, Laisa brought new energy with that beautiful smile and always greeted staff with her 'good morning' and asking how we all are.

"Laisa had a beautiful soul ... staff always felt positive vibes when working with Laisa. She was a very proud mum, a loving wife and member of the community."

Givealittle page, set up to help the grieving family, has reached just over $58,000 in donations.

A 37-year-old man has been charged with murder and has been remanded in custody.

 

 

 

Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter