A man will appear in court today charged with murder after a fatal house fire near Tikitiki on the East Coast last October.

Mary-Ann August-Akuhata, 48, lived in the house. She died from injuries sustained in the fire.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Scott of Gisborne CIB said the arrested man was known to the victim.

"He will appear in Gisborne District Court this afternoon on a murder charge and we will oppose bail," he said.


Fire broke out in the house, 2km north of Tikitiki on State Highway 35, about 7pm on October 10. The home was "burning end-to-end" when firemen arrived.

Firemen said at the time it was too late to do anything to save the house.

Ms August-Akuhata's body was found in the ruins once firemen had extinguished the blaze.

Mr Scott said it had been a lengthy inquiry involving the use of various specialists, including forensic scientists.

"The arrested man had been living at large in Gisborne, on bail on an assault charge which related to events on the same night as the fire."

- The Gisborne Herald