31 Jan 2009

Funeral held for victim of motorway shooting

7:57 am on 31 January 2009

A message of forgiveness has been extended to the police officer who mistakenly killed a teenager during a shootout on an Auckland motorway.

A service for Halatau Naitoko, 17, was held at his family's home in Ferguson Street in Mangere on Friday.

Hundreds of people packed out the makeshift chapel at the Naitoko family home for his funeral, including Police Minister Judith Collins and Police Commissioner Howard Broad.

Pastor Vosailangi Sikalu addressed the police directly and said that even though Haltau Naitoko's blood has been shed, it is only crying out for forgiveness.

Mourners at the funeral heard of a hard-working man whose life was tragically cut short.

Mr Naitoko's aunt, Paea Sime, told of a young man who was like a father to his younger brothers and sisters and who left school early to provide for them.

Hundreds more gathered at the Mangere lawn cemetery this afternoon to see Mr Naitoko buried.