Manukau Velodrome homicide: Joseph Tauati remembered for devotion to family, others

The 21-year-old who died on New Year’s Day after an altercation at the Manukau Velodrome carpark in South Auckland will be remembered as someone who was devoted to family and always looked out for others, his partner said.

Joseph Tauati’s death, shortly after arriving at Middlemore Hospital early on Saturday morning, sparked the first major homicide investigation of 2022.

Police continue to investigate the matter, and no arrests have been made.

“Joseph lived 21 amazing years and he was so loved by many people,” his Queensland-based partner, Caylah Brown, wrote in a loving tribute on fundraising website Gofundme.

Tauati was the oldest of three brothers and the fundraiser, she said, is intended to help them and his grieving mother.

“He was humble, selfless and had a heart of gold,” she said. “He always put others before himself and made sure the people around him were good.

“All he wanted was for his family to be good and I’ll make sure I do him proud on this one. This will take some weight off them to process the loss of their beloved son/brother and grieve.”

In a statement on Monday, Counties Manukau Police said they were “making good progress” with their ongoing homicide investigation.

“A number of individuals have been spoken to by the investigation team and police will continue to identify and speak with people in connection to this incident,” a spokesperson said.

Detective Inspector Karen Bright of Counties Manukau Police declined to comment on the case further on Wednesday, except to confirm that it remains under investigation.

Tauati’s partner said she has faith the case will be resolved.

“Justice will be served when the time comes and the ones involved will pay for what they’ve done,” Brown said.

In the meantime, she said, Tauati’s family grapples with the devastating news that he “gained his wings earlier than expected”.

“This wasn’t the way we expected to enter the new year,” she said. “He had so much to live for and dreams he wanted to fulfil. He didn’t deserve any of this and my heart breaks for his family.”

Anyone with information about the fatal altercation, which is believed to have taken place between 5 and 6am on Saturday, has been asked to get in touch with police by dialling 105 and quoting file number 220101/8975. Anonymous tips can be left with Crime Stoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

Brown’s fundraiser page can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/justice-for-joseph-tauati.

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