A young mum found dead in Whanganui is being remembered through a Givealittle page for her two young sons and a planned march about violence against women.

Feona Kotahi Marie McKay-Patea's death is being treated as a homicide investigation after her body was found in a home in the coastal suburb of Castlecliff on Thursday.

Homicide inquiry launched after body discovered in Whanganui's Lee St
Police investigating unexplained death in Whanganui
Police launch homicide inquiry after body found in Whanganui

Family members raising money for her sons on a Givealittle page titled "Justice for our Feona" said McKay-Patea died violently.


"She was a kind and gentle 23-year-old mother of two young boys. Her sons have been left motherless."

"We are asking the country to support her boys and support their future."

McKay-Patea's aunt Kiritahi Firmin, founder of the Kimiora Trust which supports families affected by suicide and domestic violence, said her niece was the second Whanganui woman to die violently in the past four months.

"Young women have been taken through violence and that is unjust, that is not fair, and so there was a call for arms to our community, our leadership, our management, to say what are our leaders doing to help us," she said.

"We want to call out to our community to say this cannot happen, it's happening too many times, and we are not doing enough to stop it."

Firmin said her niece grew up in Whanganui and her two sons, both under 6, were being supported by her Ngā Paerangi iwi based at Kaiwhaiki Marae about 2km out of the town, where her tangi will take place tomorrow.

"She had a strong family base around here. Our people at Kaiwhaiki are very strong, that is why we are strongly together as an iwi," Firmin said.

"She comes from a quiet, humble family. For this to happen to her was a big shock to all the family.


"She was not a drug taker, she didn't smoke. She was a dedicated mother."

Police cordon off the house where Feona McKay-Patea's body was found. Photo / Bevan Conley
Police cordon off the house where Feona McKay-Patea's body was found. Photo / Bevan Conley

She said money raised through Givealittle would be placed into a trust fund for the two boys.

"The family is looking after the boys. We have a big family, we will make sure that those boys are protected."

Firmin said the Kimiora Trust had been unable to get funding for a programme called Wāhine Ora which it had developed for women caught up in domestic violence.

"We are investing in overseas models that do not work, that are not kaupapa Māori models with kaupapa Māori facilitators," she said.

"It's time for us to stand up. We will be marching, we will be taking this to Parliament."

Police spent Friday collecting evidence at the scene. Photo / Bevan Conley
Police spent Friday collecting evidence at the scene. Photo / Bevan Conley

Police Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Harrison said police are continuing to investigate the death of McKay-Patea, who was found deceased in a property in Lee St, Whanganui on October 3.

"A scene examination at the Lee St property has been completed and police are reviewing evidence gathered from that examination," he said.

"Police are also speaking to a number of people in order to establish the circumstances leading up to Feona's tragic death.

"The investigation team is grateful to all those who have contacted police to provide information and assistance to assist our inquiries.

"We would like to hear from anyone who has not yet spoken to us, who may have information regarding Feona's death, or the last few days of her life.

"If you can help, please call Whanganui Police on 105. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."