Killed in Melbourne

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 10:54 14/01/2014
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Sharnee Ngatai, 23, died in a Melbourne hospital on Saturday.

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A former Hawera High School student has been allegedly murdered in Australia.

Sharnee Ngatai, 23, a mother of three, died in a Melbourne hospital on Saturday following an alleged altercation with her partner at her Hampton Park home.

Ngatai's partner, Steve Cook, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday charged with her murder and was remanded in custody to reappear on May 5.

Her father Dion Kahukaka told the Taranaki Daily News he was devastated to hear of his daughter's death.

He said he was contacted by the sister of the man alleged to have killed his daughter through social media asking for him to call her.

When Mr Kahukaka rang her he was given the chilling news.

''She's lucky that the phone cut out.''

Mr Kahukaka said Sharnee was born in Australia but had moved to Taranaki aged 12 and attended Hawera High School.

Sharnee had then moved to Opunake to live with him until she returned to Australia about four years ago, he said.

As Sharnee was an Australian citizen the New Zealand Government won't pay for her body to be returned home so Mr Kahukaka is now desperately trying to raise enough money to bring her body home.

Donations to help bring Sharnee's body home can be made at https://www.facebook.com/SharneeNgataisMemorialFund.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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