Family's emotional outburst as west Auckland murder-accused appears in court

"How could you?"

Those were the words from an angry family as the 30-year-old man accused of murdering Farzana (Zana) Yaqubiin in west Auckland appeared in the Waitakere District Court on Wednesday.

The man, who has been granted interim name suppression, has been remanded in custody until his next appearance in the High Court in Auckland on February 1 2023.

There was an emotional outburst from members of the victim's family, who were sitting in the public gallery, after the hearing concluded.

"She was just a child," one said.

"Why don't you pick someone your own size?"

Officers were called to a property on Royal Road in Massey at around 5:45pm on Monday to reports a woman had been seriously injured.

One witness told Newshub all she heard was a scream coming from a female which "just got louder and louder".

 She turned towards the direction of the screams and saw a brutal attack unfolding.

"I just screamed. I realised what was going on and I said 'oh my gosh he's stabbing her, he's stabbing her'."

She then saw motorists bravely pull over to help the victim and chase the attacker who took off.

"He couldn't bring his arm high enough above his head. He just kept striking her and striking her. I don't know. I lost count. That's how vicious it was."

Police said the woman died at the scene.

Newshub has spoken to a family member of the young woman. They want the public to know Yaqubi was a student at the Auckland University of Technology studying criminal law. She had a pilgrimage booked on the 29th. She had her bags packed, and ready to go.

Yaqubi was intending to take part in the Ziriyat pilgrimage in the Muslim holy city of Karbala in Iraq, but that dream was suddenly and brutally taken away from her, along with her life.