On Friday September 11, 1998, Japanese woman Kayo Matsuzawa arrived in Auckland.

At 2.41pm security cameras showed Kayo getting off an airport shuttle on Queen St.

Matsuzawa checked into her accommodation, placing her bags on her bed.

She then went out to explore the city.

At 3.32pm she was captured again on CCTV cameras nearby.

Those grainy images would be the last ever captured of the 29-year-old.

Eleven days later her body was found in a utility cupboard.

Who killed her? We look back in the Herald podcast A Moment in Crime.

Kayo Matsuzawa. Photo / Supplied by TVNZ 'The Investigator'
Kayo Matsuzawa. Photo / Supplied by TVNZ 'The Investigator'

Kayo Matsuzawa planned to spend a year in New Zealand, learning English, experiencing Kiwi life, having fun.

She managed most of those things, but shortly before she was due to return to Japan, Matsuzawa was killed.

Her body was found in a small storage space - locked in - off a stairwell connecting the Centrecourt building and BNZ Tower on Queen St.

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Her body was badly decomposed, meaning her cause of death was never conclusively determined.

But police are clear on one thing - Matsuzawa's death was the result of the actions of another person.

More than 21 years on her death remains a mystery.

In 2007 police offered a reward for information on Kayo's killer. Photo / supplied
In 2007 police offered a reward for information on Kayo's killer. Photo / supplied

In episode three of Herald podcast A Moment in Crime, we look into Matsuzawa's death and speak to the officer in charge, and another who worked on the case two decades ago.

We revisit the theories and suspects, the facts and the speculation and tell Matsuzawa's story in a bid to unearth new leads for police.

The episode is available on the Herald website today using the iHeartRadio player below - and you can listen on iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Operation Net - the investigation into Matsuzawa's death - is being overseen by Detective Inspector Scott Beard.

He was also the lead police officer in the Grace Millane murder investigation.


Millane was killed last December on the weekend of her 22nd birthday.

Last month a man was found guilty of her murder.

Grace Millane was murdered in Auckland in December 2018 on her OE. Photo / Supplied
Grace Millane was murdered in Auckland in December 2018 on her OE. Photo / Supplied

He met Millane on the dating app Tinder and, after taking her to several Auckland bars, killed her in his Queen St apartment, put her body in a cheap suitcase and buried her in a shallow grave in the Waitākere Ranges.

Millane's parents were in New Zealand for the entirety of the murder trial in the High Court at Auckland.

Unlike the Matsuzawa family, the Millanes have answers.

The Japanese family are still waiting for justice, and today we hope the podcast encourages anyone with information to come forward and put this case to rest.


A Moment In Crime is written and hosted by Anna Leask, senior crime reporter for the Herald. The podcast is produced by Chris Tarpey and Frances Cook is the executive producer.

Leask has been covering crime and justice for the Herald for more than a decade and has reported on most of the major incidents and events over that time.

"Each month I'll take you inside some of our most infamous incidents, notorious offenders and behind the scenes of high profile trials and events to show you what's really happening in your backyard," she said.

"Heroes and villains battle for justice to be done, and it seems no matter how horrifying the story, we always want to know more.

"If you want to know more about the cases that have shocked and shaped our nation - from murders and massacres to violent villains and the utterly unbelievable - join me for A Moment In Crime."

In our first episode we looked back at the Christchurch terror attack - what unfolded on March 15 and how it changed New Zealand.


And in our second episode we revisited the 2009 disappearance and death of West Auckland toddler Aisling Symes.

In 2017 Leask wrote and hosted Chasing Ghosts - a six-part podcast series on the Amber-Lee Cruickshank case.

The South Island toddler disappeared almost 27 years ago from a small town on the shore of Lake Wakatipu.



Despite exhaustive and repeated searches, there has never been any sign of the little girl.

To mark the 25th anniversary of Amber-Lee's disappearance, Leask investigated the famous cold case in a bid to generate some answers for the toddler's family.

It was the Herald's first true-crime podcast.

You can listen to A Moment In Crime on the Herald website now, or download episodes on iHeartRadio, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Apple Podcasts next week.

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