Arrest following Otorohanga hit-and-run

Ocean Heke
Ocean Heke

A 21-year-old Te Kuiti man has been arrested in relation to the hit-and-run incident in Otorohanga on Sunday morning, police have confirmed.

The man, who has not been named, is charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol causing death. He will appear in the Hamilton District Court tomorrow.

Ocean Poihaere Heke, 17, was found dead on the side of State Highway 3 at 6:30am on Sunday. She also lived in Te Kuiti.

A post-mortem revealed Ocean had suffered injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle, police said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson says the investigation is continuing despite the arrest and police would still like to hear from anyone who may have useful information.

"I am grateful to the communities of Te Kuiti and Otorohanga for supporting our inquiry and I hope they continue to do so for this terrible tragedy," says Snr Sgt Patterson.

Ocean's mother, Bella Heke, paid tribute to her daughter on Facebook early this morning.

"She was taken in a most horrific manner that I cannot begin to explain and I would never wish this on my worst enemy," she wrote.

"When I wake, if I sleep, my nightmare is real."

She said she's proud of her daughter and humbled by the support the family has received since Ocean's death.