The women attending a west Auckland girls' day out that ended with a fatal stabbing yesterday are "like sisters" and the woman now accused of murder was a gatecrasher, says the host.
A 36-year-old woman has been charged with murder after another woman of the same age died from stab wounds at a School Rd, Te Atatu South address on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services were called to the scene about 4pm.
Neighbours described a "lovely" gathering turning to chaos, with two women fighting viciously on the front lawn, with one throwing a chair at the other.
The girls' day out event began mid-morning, with children present and the women getting their nails and eye lashes beautified.
A gathering of "sisters"
The woman who lives at the address and hosted the event, who did not wish to be named, told the Herald it was a "beautiful" day until an uninvited guest arrived.
"I didn't even know her," she said.
"It was a beautiful day, we are all sisters that grew up together. An outsider came in, no one knew that was going to happen."
She said the accused was only at the gathering for 20-minutes.
"We are all just devastated, just really wrecked. We just want her back, but we don't even have her back yet."
Her home, which is rented from the property owners, was still cordoned off by police yesterday but she was able to briefly return to get some belongings for her family.
She said the victim's children were not present, but her own and others were.
"They were yelling and screaming"
Neighbour Siua Katinaki told the Herald her teenage son saw women fighting on the front lawn of the house shortly before 4pm.
"They were yelling and screaming, pulling hair. One lady threw a chair at the other lady, and she ran inside to try and escape."
She said the celebration started about 11am, when a number of women arrived and were having a nice, quiet gathering.
"It was just a few ladies."
One of the women yelled at her son to leave and "mind his own business," and the police arrived soon after.
She said the woman who lives at the address was seen speaking with ambulance staff after the incident.
The couple who rented the house were lovely and friendly, and never had parties.
"They have lived there for about a year. She is very nice, they always say hello even when we see them at the supermarket we talk to her and her husband."
Officers were still at the scene this morning, after guarding it overnight, said Katinaki.
"Lovely" gathering turns to chaos
Another neighbour said that he walked past the gathering at about 10am and it seemed "lovely".
"There were children playing and laughing, lots of cars parked outside."
When he returned home about 4pm, it had descended into chaos, he said.
"There were police cars everywhere, a poor little child was sobbing his eyes out in the street."
Last night a contingent of family members waited outside the cordon until they were let inside to perform a guard of a honour and perform a haka as the body was loaded into a hearse.
The accused is due to appear in Waitakere District Court tomorrow.
Editors note: Reports yesterday from neighbours that the home had gang links were incorrect.