7 Jun 2023

Linda Woods, woman killed in Kaikohe home invasion, remembered at funeral as a 'special spirit'

3:55 pm on 7 June 2023
Police are executing a search warrant at a house on Taraire Street in relation to the investigation into the homicide of Linda Woods. At least four officers are guarding the cordoned house and other officers can be seen rummaging through rubbish bins on the property.

Police execute a search warrant at a house on Taraire Street, Kaikohe, in relation to the investigation into the homicide of Linda Woods. Photo: RNZ / Lucy Xia

Crowds have farewelled a much-loved kuia in Kaikohe, dressed in her favourite colour - purple.

Linda Woods, 71, was killed in her home on Thursday night during a home invasion.

Those gathered at her funeral said Woods spent much of her time volunteering at the community's sports clubs, church groups and Kōhanga Reo.

Ngapuhi kaumatua Hirini Tau was there to pay his respects and said the service was very touching.

"Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were all there. We had a gathering of about over, for Kaikohe, 300-plus people that I saw here."

Nate Neyman went to church with Woods, and said she showed him what a family should look like.

"She really had a special spirit, and her family always just showed love for each other," he said.

"They would feed us whenever we would show up. They would always give before they wanted to receive."

Tau said the tragedy was a reminder to police that Kaikohe needed more resourcing.

"They need to step it up, because now this town has been labelled one of those highly populated places of violence - surely you would make sure this town had a lot of police in it."

The local police station was not manned after 5pm and the community should meet to discuss safety matters, he said.

"What we should be doing is calling a great meeting in our memorial hall, open it to the whole public, and have your say, and then we start to forge ahead on how we are able to keep our community safe."

While Woods' life was being celebrated, the man accused of her manslaughter appeared in the Kaikohe District Court with his head bowed.

Judge Greg Davis denied him name suppression but the accused man's lawyer appealed, meaning he cannot yet be identified.

He was remanded in custody until his next appearance at the High Court at Whangārei on 23 June.

  • Man appears in court facing charges in relation to death of Kaikohe woman Linda Woods
  • Sexually motivated burglary led to death of Kaikohe woman Linda Woods, police believe
  • Police arrest man after fatal home invasion in Kaikohe
  • Man to appear in Kaikohe court charged with manslaughter