Fijian allegedly murdered in Christchurch, accused arrested
22 February, 2021, 3:16 pm
A man allegedly murdered at a Christchurch home lost his father three weeks prior, in a double tragedy for the family.
Police were called to reports of a serious assault at a block of flats on Armagh St, on the fringe of the central city, about 7.35pm on Sunday.
Officers found Faiz Ali, aged in his early 30s, dead at the property. He’d been bludgeoned.
Witnesses reported seeing a bloodied man carrying a hammer fleeing the scene.
On Monday morning, a 38-year-old man appeared in the Christchurch District Court charged with murdering Ali.
The man was granted interim name suppression and remanded in custody to appear in the High Court at Christchurch on March 14.
During the hearing, he stood expressionless in the dock with his hands in his pockets. He did not apply for bail.
Ali moved to New Zealand from Fiji about six years ago in search of a better life.
He was a manager at Krazy Price Mart Phillipstown, where he’s remembered as a funny man who always had a smile on his face.
Many of his family still live in Fiji, where his father died three weeks ago.
Speaking from Fiji, Tashlim Ali told Stuff he learned on Monday morning that his brother had died.
“My sister called me and told me ‘you’re going to have to be strong, I’m going to tell you something about Faiz’, and I thought that something had happened and he’s serious — I didn’t know that he was no more.
“She told me ‘you’re going to have to tell mum that this has happened’.”
Ali said his sister told him a man had gone to his brother’s home and attacked him with a hammer.
At least 8 people have died in suspicious or homicidal circumstances in New Zealand so far in 2021.
At the same time last year there had been 12 suspected homicides. Last year’s toll closed at 69.
On average there are 67 homicides in New Zealand each year. The rate of 1.6 homicides per 100,000 people is well below the OECD average of 3.6 per 100,000.
The Homicide Report’s data is provisional and may change depending on the outcome of investigations and court cases.
His mother hadn’t stopped crying since learning her son had died. .
Ali said he and his mother would not be able to attend his brother’s funeral in New Zealand due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
The brothers spoke for the final time last week in a video call.
“He didn’t mention anything about his personal life, all we talked about was how his work was and our father. We always do the video call and prayer for my father.”
Ali described his brother as a “very happy, kind and cheerful person” who moved to New Zealand about six years ago for a better life.
Nishaal Nikesh told Stuff he spent Sunday working with Ali at Krazy Price Mart. The two men had lunch and dinner together before Ali left about 7pm.
A short while later Nikesh received calls from friends who had heard reports of an incident outside Ali’s flat.
Concerned friends tried calling Ali, but his phone was switched off. They were later told he had died.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” Nikesh said.
Nikesh described her colleague as a “very joyful person”.
“He always had a smile on his face. Very good customer-interactions, everyone would love spending time with him.
“He used to be one hell of a funny person, he didn’t hold any personal grudges or have any issues with anyone.”
On Monday morning, Jamee Panirau said she saw three women run out of the Armagh St driveway on Sunday night “looking quite scared” and on their phones.
“I then saw a man casually following closely behind and drenched in blood.”
A cordon remained in place at the intersection of Armagh and Barbadoes streets on Monday morning.
Police said they believed the alleged murder was an isolated incident and there was no further risk to the public.
A cordon remains in place at the intersection of Armagh and Barbadoes streets.