Teen charged with Mt Wellington murder

Last updated 17:31 01/11/2012

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Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy and charged him with the murder of a South Auckland man.

Mangere man Tamati Tupe, 23, was discovered dead on Hillside Rd, Mt Wellington, on September 30 after police were called by a man from a nearby phone box.

A 17-year-old was arrested soon after and charged with assault, and this week police announced they were seeking six people believed to have been involved.

Detective Inspector Dave Lynch said the investigation was "well under way" and he was hopeful of more charges being laid next week.

Lynch confirmed the 15-year-old had been spoken to earlier in the investigation.

The murder accused was the youngest of those being sought by the police, all of whom are male. He will appear in the Manukau Youth Court tomorrow.

From the outset, police have looked for a motive for the homicide but Lynch said there did not appear to be one.

"[There was] no established link between the victim and the persons of interest," he said.

An autopsy was completed shortly after Tupe was found, but police would not discuss the cause of death because it was not straightforward.

"It's a potentially complex issue at trial," Lynch said. "It's not like it was a bullet in the head or a knife through the heart."

The 17-year-old accused of assaulting Tupe appeared in Manukau District Court again this week and is expected to face more serious charges.

He has interim name suppression until a High Court hearing next month.

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