21 Jun 2021

Victim who died after incident near Blenheim nightclub named

5:13 pm on 21 June 2021

The man who died after an altercation near a Blenheim nightclub has been named.

Police said he was 23-year-old Hiko Lynch of Tonga. He was a seasonal worker for an agricultural company which employs Pacific people to work in vineyards.

Two other people were injured during the incident which occurred in the early hours yesterday.

Police offered their sympathy to Lynch's family.

They also thanked members of the public who provided information to the investigation team since a homicide inquiry was launched.

Two people were jointly charged with Lynch's murder and were due to appear in the Blenheim District Court this afternoon.

Another eight people were arrested on charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault and disorderly behaviour.

'A very sad event' for Marlburians and RSE community

Marlborough Mayor John Leggett said the alleged stabbing in Blenheim's town centre was not something Marlburians were "used to having at our front door".

"Events like this remind us that we are not immune from the social issues that affect New Zealand as a whole. But this is unusual for us ... it is a very sad event - a leveller for us all and a reminder of how precious life is," Leggett said.

Leggett praised Blenheim police and emergency services for their swift response in the early hours of Sunday morning, and said his thoughts were with the family and friends of the deceased.

"Our police and emergency responders have a challenging job at the best of times and they deserve our thanks - this would have been a very difficult event for them to deal with," he said.

"I know the RSE worker community is tight-knit and strongly supporting all those involved in this tragic incident. There is also support coming in from the wider community as well."

Deputy mayor Nadine Taylor said, as a mum of two young men, she felt "so sad at the sense of loss at this young life".

"My heart goes out to the Marlborough RSE community, as they will be hurting and grieving. My thoughts today will really be with the young man's family and friends back in Tonga."

Kaikōura MP National's Stuart Smith said it was unimaginable.

"Everyone is in shock quite frankly, particularly for someone who is a visitor or a guest who is working in New Zealand. It's just a terrible incident. The RSE workers are making a valuable contribution, to have anyone treated like this is just apalling."