A 50-year-old businessman was remanded in custody when he appeared in a south Auckland court today charged with the murder of a teenage boy.
Bruce William Emery was remanded in custody by consent to reappear in Manukau District Court on Thursday. He was not required to enter any plea.
Emery was charged over the fatal stabbing of 15-year-old Pihema Clifford Cameron in Southview Place, Manurewa, on Saturday night.
His address was given as Mahia Road, off which Southview Place runs.
The stabbing allegedly occurred during an argument that arose after Pihema was about to tag a fence on a property and was chased.
His death was the latest in a string of 10 homicides in New Zealand since the beginning of the year.
It was also the second fatal stabbing in south Auckland in two days.
A 22-year-old student, Saishwar Krishna Naidu, was attacked on Friday while working in his parents' dairy in Clendon.
A 16-year-old boy has been charged with Mr Naidu's murder.
The sister of Mr Emery said the situation was "dreadful, absolutely dreadful".
A key police witness has also revealed how Pihema's friend - still beside his mate's body - told her the pair were about to tag a fence when a man with a knife chased them.
Pihema was stabbed about 11.30pm on Saturday when he was allegedly chased down by Manurewa business owner Bruce William Emery, 50, who will appear in the Manukau District Court today to face a murder charge.
Emery's Mahia Rd home, about 200m from Southview Place where Pihema was murdered, was being photographed by police yesterday.
Emery's sister, who asked not to be named, told the Herald she and her family were devastated by what had happened and offered her condolences to the victim's family .
"It's absolutely terrible," she said. "I hope you never have to know what it's like. It's something we never expected ... It is very tough for us as a family and we just feel so terrible for the other family. It's just dreadful, absolutely dreadful."
The woman and her husband went to Emery's home to collect clothing for his wife and three young children, who were now staying with family and who were "absolutely shattered", struggling to come to terms with their situation. "We've just got some real big issues to deal with."
She sent her sympathy to Pihema's friends and family.
Pihema's family - who were congregating at family spokesman Billy Edmonds' Mahia Rd home - did not wish to comment on their loss.
Other family members, who did not want to be named, said Pihema was "just your normal 15-year-old".
It is understood Pihema has a sister aged about 13 and a large extended family.
Meanwhile, the key police witness, Esther Ahkiau, told the Herald she arrived at her family's Southview Place home on Saturday night to find a boy speaking on his cellphone, huddled over his friend who was lying on her driveway.
"He was on his phone talking to the police already, so I grabbed the phone off him and just gave the address. I told the lady: 'We need someone right away because he's not breathing. I think he's dead.'
"When we rolled him over ... I saw his chest. He was wearing a white shirt and it was covered in blood and I saw the wound in his chest."
Ms Ahkiau, 18, said she spoke to Pihema's friend as they waited for the emergency services.
"He said they were just going to tag or something and this man chased them and stabbed his friend. The guy chased after him with a knife."
Ms Ahkiau said she recognised several new tags on fences around the neighbourhood that had appeared on Saturday night.
Residents of the usually quiet cul-de-sac were locked within police cordons yesterday, unable to come and go. Most were shocked by what had occurred and said they and their children were fearful for their safety.
Sotiata Fale, a Southview Place resident for 11 years, said the street usually had a lot of young people moving through. A walkway to a park attracted them.
He said the wooden fence outside his home had been tagged but not recently since he made a point of showing himself in the front garden when groups of youths passed by.
"This is a terrible waste of a life and I'm shocked because this is a very nice street, a family street," he said. "Families here are friendly and always greet you with a smile."
At a media conference yesterday, Detective Sergeant Chris Barry refused to give any details about the killing, saying repeatedly that the matter was before the courts.
A post-mortem examination is to be conducted on Pihema's body today.
- with NZPA