The 50-year-old man charged with murdering Lorna-Ann Marie Thompson in Whanganui is the brother of a Labour MP.
Thompson, 41, was found dead last month at her home above a shop on the corner of Ingestre St and Victoria Ave.
Eric Ara Mete, the brother of Labour MP Kiri Allan, is accused of her murder.
Allan told reporters today that it was an extremely trying time.
She confirmed the victim and her brother were known to each other.
Asked about her whanau's relationship with the victim, Allan said: "Our families are intimately connected and have been for generations and relatively known to each other."
Allan said it had been a "challenging time".
"For us there's an inherent sense of whakamā [shame] that sits amongst my whānau at the moment."
Allan said she did not grow up with Mete and they were raised in separate towns.
"We are still whānau," she said.
"I'm an auntie, sister, daughter - separate from my role as a parliamentarian. It's been a challenging time. For us it's really recognising the impact it's had on [the dead woman's] family."
Allan said she was from a large whānau and she was the ninth of 10 children.
Allan said: "Our thoughts and all of our aroha have been with the victim and her whānau at this time."
"His children are still my nieces and my nephews. At the end of day, we are whānau."
"These tragedies that occur within our families often happen behind closed doors and they operate in the darkness."
Allan, 35, was first elected in 2017 and is a Labour List MP who lives on the East Coast.
Asked about the impact of methamphetamine in Māori communities, Allan said:
"Methamphetamine ... has had a devastating impact within my own whānau and within my own community."
Name suppression lapsed for Mete when he appeared in the High Court in Whanganui at 9.15am on Thursday.
Mete was represented by lawyer Debbie Goodlet who said a psychiatric assessment had been completed on her client and the recommendation was that he undergo a section 38 1 A and B report.
No plea was entered and Mete will appear in the court again for a case review hearing via audio-visual link on July 12.
The public gallery was at near capacity and a man could be seen crying in the lobby after Mete was remanded in custody.
Mete was wearing an open long sleeved jacket with a visible tattoo across his chest.