Rotorua police have arrested a teenager in connection with the alleged murder of Lynace Parakuka who was found at the grounds of St Michaels School on Friday.

The 19-year-old male was known to the victim but police will not comment on the nature of their relationship.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Van Kempen said police were not seeking anyone else in relation to Parakuka's death.

"Police would like to thank the local community for their co-operation as we have investigated Lynace's tragic death," he said.


The man has been charged with murdering the 22-year-old woman and is set to appear in Rotorua District Court tomorrow morning.

An autopsy was due to be carried out on Parakuka today.

The young mother was found dead at St Michael's Catholic School at 11.40pm on Friday and police launched a homicide investigation into her death.

All entrances to the school were taped off and guarded by police on Saturday morning.

Principal Kristina Crouch announced in a Facebook post on the school page yesterday the school would be open for instruction.

Crouch asked parents or guardians of children from the school to check their emails for updates.

"I have spoken to police this afternoon who have agreed to notify all media on my behalf that it is both culturally and ethically inappropriate for them to be present at our school tomorrow," the statement said.

"I have made it very clear that our staff, students and families are entitled to a settled and private return to their special learning space.


"We continue to pray for all those who are affected by this tragedy."

Crouch previously said the board of trustees was both "shocked and saddened" by the incident.

Family and friends have expressed their grief at the young woman's death.

"So sad, rest in peace. Taken so young and early," one relative said in a social media post.

"I love you to infinity and beyond," a friend posted.

Rotorua police held a briefing on the investigation just before midday on Saturday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Van Kempen said yesterday police would not be releasing any further details regarding the victim until the post-mortem was complete.

Police would like to hear from anyone else who may have heard or seen anything in the area - for example, yelling or arguing – between 8pm and 11.40pm.

If you can help, please call Rotorua police on (07) 349 9400. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.