The name of the man at the centre of a homicide investigation in Tauranga will remain a secret for now.

The 21-year-old appeared in Tauranga District Court on Friday following the death of a 37-year-old woman at Huria Marae overnight Thursday.

Police were called to the marae at 11.50pm after a woman is alleged to have suffered critical injuries to her neck. She did not survive.

The incident that is alleged to have led to her death happened in the midst of tangi commemorations for beloved iwi leader Morehu Ngatoko Rahipere, who died this week. It is understood the alleged incident happened in the marae's dining room area.


Police were discreetly at the scene Friday morning as mourners for Ngatoko Rahipere gathered. Friday was the final farewell for the iwi leader.

Judge Christopher Harding granted the accused interim name suppression "by a slim margin" until his next appearance in the high court on March 7.

As the defendant left the dock, members of the public gallery expressed support, with one woman saying "love you, bro".