Fears Kaikohe community will take justice into own hands after Linda Woods killed in home invasion

Police have named the woman killed during a home invasion in Kaikohe on Thursday night.

She was 71-year-old Linda Woods, who is being remembered as a strong family woman.

And the circumstances of her death have triggered anger in the tight-knit Far North community.

On Saturday Linda Woods was remembered with flowers at the site of her home where she was killed defending her whānau during a home invasion.

Karla Tawhai knew Woods. She's been preparing flowers for her whānau at her Bouquets on Broadway shop on the Kaikohe strip.

"She's a very bubbly lady, she was a business owner in town," Tawhai said. "It's just really heartbreaking."

She said the family is grieving and still very much in shock.

"I spoke to her granddaughter yesterday... I think I was more upset than she was, but I think she's in a lot of shock, you know? And they probably will be."

Woods' niece has revealed details about what unfolded during the shocking home invasion.

"He ripped out... those tubes up her nose, the breathing ones," Shianne Maaka told the NZ Herald. "He was beating her up. She took a lot, you know, she took quite a bit of a beating."

Linda Woods.
Linda Woods. Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

Hearing how she died defending her whānau lies heavy on the minds of locals.

"Hearing about that, so close to home it breaks a lot of these families' hearts," one person said.

"It's pretty ratshit alright!" another exclaimed.

And there are fears that some will take justice into their own hands.

"It's better for the guy to hand himself in, aye cos I kind of think that if he doesn't, we're gonna find him, and no matter what gang it is, we wanna find him. What happened to an old kuia like that, that's not cool man," Kaikohe resident Piripi Whare said.

But Community Chaplain Monte Tito, who put on a free sausage sizzle for locals on Saturday, said that's not the way to go.

"Sometimes we can say, 'well yeah, go get him, deal to him', but he needs to be dealt with through the right channels."

Because like so many he wants to honour the life of a woman who was clearly respected and loved in her community.

Two days after the home invasion at the Taraire Street property a police scene examination continues.

Police today released a description of the offender. He's described as male, Māori or Polynesian, aged between 40 and 60 years old, and solidly built. He has dark-coloured short hair speckled with grey, possibly, curly.

Police also released images of items left at the scene including size US13 New Balance sneakers and faded black cut-off jean shorts, with a fly made up of buttons that include a 'B' shaped logo.

"We have every confidence that someone in our Kaikohe community knows this man. We are urging you to do the right thing and come forward to us," said Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston from the Northland CIB.

"Additionally, if you saw this man around the time of the incident and have any information about him or his movements, please also get in touch."

You can do so by calling 105 and quoting file number 230602/1746. Information can also be shared anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.