Police are urging Flaxmere 42-year-old Ri Nikora to come forward and speak to officers investigating the death of former Flaxmere woman Kathleen Kawana.

Kawana's body was found in a Ngarimu Hill property, near Ruatoria, on August 3.

The property recently changed hands and the body was found by the new owners who had gone to have a look around, Detective Senior Sergeant Ben Quinn said.

Nikora has not been in contact with family in several weeks and police believe he may be able to provide information which may help the investigation in the death of the 46-year-old.


Kawana's family paid tribute to her on Tuesday as a loved mother of eight children.

"Kathleen Lorna Kawana was affectionately known by her whanau as 'Skin' because of her small stature," a statement provided to police said.

"Kathleen was a loved mother of eight beautiful children, grandmother to her granddaughter 'Chewybean', and the daughter of the late Lois Timothy and Melvin Kawana of Bridge Pa.

"She was the middle child of five."

She grew up in Flaxmere and was schooled at Irongate Primary, Flaxmere Intermediate and Karamu High School.

"Growing up, Kathleen was a quiet person who kept to herself, however she was always there when her family needed her."

Kawana's was laid to rest in Bridge Pa on August 16 surrounded by friends and family.

"The whanau is still in shock about Kathleen's passing and we ask that anyone with information about her movements, or anyone who saw or spoke to her, let the Police know.


"The family will continue to grieve for her

"She will be sadly missed by all," the statement read.

Anyone with information about Nikora is urged to call 105 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.