A man has been charged with murder several weeks after a man died in a fight in the Lower Hutt suburb of Taita.

The 50-year-old appeared by audio visual link in the Hutt Valley District Court this morning, where he was charged with murder by stabbing or cutting.

Faapaia Fonoilaepa, 29, died from a single stab wound following the assault in the evening of September 14.

Police arrested his alleged murderer five days after the death, saying he was the occupant of a silver station wagon seen leaving the area after the fight.


He was arrested in Hastings and originally charged with possession of a firearm and a knife, but the charge of murder has now been added.

The man has interim name suppression while his lawyer makes inquiries into whether identifying him risks the safety of him and his family.

No plea was entered today.

The man was remanded to appear in the High Court at Wellington on October 31.

A woman who lives near where the fight happened earlier told the Herald she could hear someone yelling "help me" at the scene.

The woman, who didn't want to be named, believed it was a gang clash.

She and her 17-year-old son were thinking about calling police when officers arrived at the scene.

"I didn't see what actually happened ... I just wanted to stay inside because you don't want to get involved in that kind of thing," she said.


The pair were already in the process of moving house and are glad to be doing so. The woman fears gang retribution for any co-operation they had with police.

During the fight she could hear the words "help me" and saw people running into the road to stop traffic. She believes it was to get help for the critically injured victim.

Another High St resident said this was the worst thing to happen in the area for about five years.

He said local kids had been talking about a "Mongrel Mob movement".

He said the incident was sad and unnecessary.