Regional | Gisborne

Uninvited guests turned 21st into chaos; Gisborne birthday boy one of two who died

Police detective inspector Dave de Lange says the 25-year-old man arrested yesterday in relation to the Saturday birthday part that turned into a tragic brawl, has today had his charge upgraded to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The upgraded charge relates to injuries sustained by one of the victims still in Gisborne Hospital.

He is jointly charged with the 29-year-old who was taken into custody earlier this week.

Further charges will be considered as the investigation into events on Lytton Street, Gisborne on Saturday night progresses.

The 25-year-old is due to appear in the Gisborne District Court this afternoon.

Police would still like to hear from anyone who was at the party on Saturday evening, or anyone who has photos or video of the party or altercation.

If you have videos or photos, you can upload them via our dedicated online portal:

Two men died at the event. They were Kane Wiremu Te Paa, 30, of Wainuiomata, and Chrysler Stevens-Mark, 21, of Gisborne.

The party in Lytton Street was a whānau birthday celebration for Stevens-Mark.

A police statement said that the partygoers had been having a great night before the uninvited guests arrived.

Police said a 25-year-old Gisborne man was discharged from Gisborne Hospital yesterday, was taken into custody and charged with assault.

A 29-year-old Gisborne man has been charged with injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police say they are unable to elaborate on the cause of death, beyond the fact that both men died from injuries sustained during the altercation.

As Operation Middlepark, the investigation following Sunday’s double homicide in Gisborne, winds down, some in the city are doubting claims from the mayor that Gisborne is a safe place.

One local, who spoke to Te Ao Māori News on the condition of anonymity, is concerned by what may result from the tragedy that’s rocked New Zealand’s easternmost city.

“I’m seeing a lot of tension in the community. People are talking and we listen to our people because they’re on the ground.”

“They know what’s happening. They know the goings-on but at the same time their thoughts are with the whānau. There is deep sadness, it’s a huge loss and there’s a big impact.”

She says official reassurances are ringing hollow for many.

“On the outside Gizzy looks life a safe place but, when you’re on the ground and you’re with people, and with our people you know that it’s not, because the feeling is out there.”

Diana and Mark Kōpua, who’ve long worked with vulnerable communities, point out the storms Gisborne has weathered. Diane believes collective healing can be achieved through unity.

“It’s almost like a dark cloud is lurking over a scenario that has uncertainty, unpredictability, huge vulnerability, and it’s sad.”

Diana notes the closer Gisborne residents are to those involved in Sunday morning’s brawl, the heavier the atmosphere feels for those people.

Meanwhile, mayor Rehette Stoltz stuck to her line this morning, telling Te Ao Māori News she’s received assurances from police about their increased presence in the city.

“People are hurting. We shouldn’t act as if everything is ka pai because it isn’t.”

“We need to give them space to process that, use this time to look after each other.”

Update on investigation

Police have now identified more than 40 witnesses who were at the scene of Sunday’s double homicide in Gisborne, according to a statement on Monday night.

A 29-year-old man appeared in the Gisborne District Court yesterday afternoon, charged with injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The man, a Gisborne local, has been remanded in custody to reappear next month.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed or recorded video of the altercation to come forward, calling the investigation “complex” given the high number of witnesses needing to be interviewed but that “everyone involved remains committed to getting answers for the grieving whānau and their community.”