Body found in Far North

Police believe they have found the body of missing Rawene woman Barbara Moka.

The mother of four was last seen at a tangi at Te Piiti Marae, near Omanaia in South Hokianga, early on June 9. She left about 1am with her partner, who said they had a minor car crash about 200m from the marae.

Police said this afternoon they had located a body believed to be that of Ms Moka in the Omanaia area.

Formal identification was yet to take place and a post mortem would be carried out to determine the cause of death.

A man appeared in court today in connection with Ms Moka but his name, the charge he is facing and all other details have been suppressed.

He appeared in Kaikohe District Court this afternoon, unshaven and with his head bowed.

The defendant was remanded in custody until July 3. No application for bail was made, but lawyer Catherine Cull asked for interim name suppression because the investigation was "at a crucial stage''.

Judge Keith de Ridder issued a sweeping suppression order barring publication of the man's name and all other details until his next appearance.

Police said they appreciated the assistance of Ms Moka's family and friends during their inquiry. The family has asked for privacy.

- Northern Advocate

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