A candlelight vigil is being held in Wellington for a 21-year-old transgender woman who was murdered.

Zena Campbell was found dead in a car in the central suburb of Aro Valley on February 11.

Paddy Jonathan Woods, 30, has pleaded not guilty to her murder and is awaiting trial.

A vigil will be held for Campbell at 6 o'clock in Civic Square tonight.


Organiser Bella Simpson said it was important to acknowledge Campbell's death, "that we say her name and give our community an opportunity to mourn together and to come together and remind each other how beautiful our transwhanau are".

"We're not America where transwomen are consistently getting murdered and everyone's turning a blind eye. This is Wellington.

"This is not something that we stand for. It's not something that I'd say is within our values of who we are as a cultural, diverse city."

Simpson said the vigil was also about moving forward and showing members of the transgender community they were supported and loved.

"We've lost someone from our family, we're going to come together and we're going to take over some space and we're going to hold that space for each other."

Artwork commissioned for the vigil. Illustration / Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho Instagram @hurianakt.a
Artwork commissioned for the vigil. Illustration / Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho Instagram @hurianakt.a

Wellington mayor Justin Lester said he was saddened and shocked when he heard about Campbell's death.

He said he wanted to extend his condolences to her family.

"I know this will be an incredibly difficult time for them and they've got my full support and the city's support."


Lester said tonight was a chance to highlight the diversity of Wellington.

"We're standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder with the pride and trans community."

Where to get Help:

• OUTLine NZ http://www.outline.org.nz/
• RainbowYOUTH https://www.ry.org.nz/
• Gender Minorities Aotearoa https://genderminorities.com/