Download The Wellington App for more stories like this.

Victim named in fatal Taita assault

Police are continuing to investigate a fatal assault in Taita on Friday night, and have named the victim. He was Faapaia Fonoilaepa, 29, a painter from Avalon.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch says that the main focus for police is continuing the search for the man who left the scene following the assault, which happened near the intersection of High Street and Burcham Street in Taita during a fight between a group of men around 7.30pm.

The man being sought by police is described as Maori, of solid build, aged 30-40 years with dark hair and facial tattoos. He was wearing black clothes.

The man initially left the scene on foot walking in a southerly direction, but returned later to the scene and left in a silver Toyota Carib station wagon, travelling north.

The car is missing its front left hubcap and has some damage to its front left panel and indicator. It was later located in Pringle Street.

Police have confirmed that the people involved in the fight were not customers of the Big Barrel liquor store, though the incident occurred nearby, and have thanked the the owners of Big Barrel for their help with the investigation, including the provision of CCTV footage of activity outside the store.

Police would also like to speak to the woman pictured above, from CCTV footage, who was walking north on High Street at the time of the incident and may have observed something which could assist the investigation.

She is of medium build, with long brown curly hair and was wearing headphones and dark clothing, and carrying a shoulder bag.

Police are also continuing to focus on identifying anyone else who may have been in the area at the time and observed the incident or assisted afterward. Their inquiries have indicated that a number of people came to assist, including some who were driving by and stopped.

If you are one of these people or know of someone who is and has not yet spoken to the Police, they request that you get in touch at your earliest convenience.

Please call Lower Hutt Police on 04 560 2600.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.