The recovery yesterday of the last of the men lost when a fishing boat capsized on the Kaipara Bar gave some relief to mourners at a memorial service last night.
Taulagi Afamasaga was one of eight men who died when a charter boat, the Francie, flipped on the bar on November 26. Three men survived. At a memorial for the victims last night, Taia Williams, who was on a vessel inside Kaipara Harbour when the Francie was in trouble, said that the discovery of the last of the men was a relief.
"This helps everybody - for grieving and for the funeral as well.
"Everybody has just been holding their own, thinking about the whole thing."
The Cook Islands Consul in New Zealand, Roseline Blake, read a letter of condolence from the Queen's Representative in the Cook Islands, Tom Marsters. He is the cousin of one of the men who died, Fred Marsters.
Many at last night's service were from Auckland's Cook Islands community. Two of the victims and one survivor were Cook Islanders.
The other men who died were Bill McNatty, the skipper, and his passengers Sunia Onga'unga, Alipata Manumu'a, Aue Aria, Tevita Tangi and Fonua Taufa.