'Second son' Connor Morris farewelled

04:47, Aug 07 2014
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Sir Don McKinnon and wife Clare de Lore are among mourners arriving at the funeral of Connor Morris.
Connor Morris funeral 1
Mourners at the funeral service of Connor Morris.
Connor Morris funeral 1
Mourners at the funeral service of Connor Morris.
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Millie Holmes at the funeral service of her boyfriend Connor Morris.
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Millie Holmes at the funeral service of her boyfriend Connor Morris.
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Parents of Connor Morris arrive at their son's funeral service.
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Chris Morris, father of Connor Morris, salutes a burnout at his son's funeral service.

Surrounded by hundreds of Head Hunters, Millie Elder-Holmes' boyfriend Connor Morris has been laid to rest at Waikumete Crematorium Chapel in Glen Eden.

A huge convoy of motorcyclists followed the hearse from the Fight Club 88 boxing gym where a large crowd had spilled into the streets at his funeral.

Hundreds of the patched motorcycle gang members were joined by family and friends to pay their last respects to the 26-year-old, who died early on Sunday morning following a fight in Massey, West Auckland.

Bikes outside Morris funeral
MOURNERS: Bikes parked outside the gym where Connor Morris' funeral was held.

Sir Don McKinnon, former deputy prime minister and Secretary General of the Commonwealth, was among the mourners at the service.

McKinnon was with his wife Clare de Lore, who was a close friend of Elder-Holmes' father, the late Sir Paul Holmes.

Holmes' widow Lady Deborah Holmes was also at the funeral, with son Reuben.


Millie Elder-Holmes and Connor Morris
FACEBOOK: Millie Elder-Holmes and Connor Morris in a Facebook photo dated June 6 and captioned as marking their six year anniversary.

The four left the service shortly after 11am.

At the Waikumete grounds Elder-Holmes held the hand of a small child.

A pan motorcycle gang presence saw members of the Hell's Angels and the Filthy Few ride alongside the Head Hunters.

Connor Morris
'EXTRAORDINARY PAIN': Millie Elder-Holmes' partner Connor Morris was killed in a group fight in West Auckland.

They performed a haka as Morris's body was carried into the hearse before he was transported to the crematorium.

His father, Chris Morris, a high profile head hunter, saluted the crowd at Waikumete.


Millie Elder-Holmes and Connor Morris
METH CHARGES: Millie Elder-Holmes and Connor Morris leave Auckland District Court in 2009 after being remanded on charges of possessing of methamphetamine.

Elder-Holmes' family has spoken out for the first time to express their grief.

Her mother, Hinemoa Elder, former wife of the late broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes, released a statement saying the  family loved Morris:

"He was our second son, a brother to Reuben and we could see he and Millie were soulmates. He was such a positive force in our whanau.

"A vibrant young man, full of energy and fun, he had a great sense of humour, he made us laugh!"

Elder said the incredible bond between Morris and her daughter was "a beautiful thing to be around".

"It seemed to us that they had saved each other's lives and they were generous in sharing the power of their love and commitment to each other.''

The statement concluded: "Connor will always be remembered. Our hearts are with our girl, Connor's precious parents, whanau and local community.  We all share the extraordinary pain of his tragic passing."

Millie's brother, Holmes' and Elder's son Reuben Holmes, said: "Connor was a very special man, in more ways than one. He was an understanding, humble and beautiful person. We will miss him dearly. We are united under the korowai (cloak) of our love for Connor."

Morris, 26, was in a group of about 15 people walking to a service station to get refreshments when a fight broke out with another similar-sized group having a party on Don Buck Rd.

Morris sustained head injuries, inflicted by an unknown weapon, and later died on the way to hospital.

No-one has yet been arrested in relation to the killing.

Morris was known to police. His father was a member of the Head Hunters motorcycle gang and Morris himself was once a prospect.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor said given the nature of the people involved police would be on high alert in case anyone associated with Morris sought retribution.

* An earlier version of this story wrongly stated members of the Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club attended the funeral.