18yo charged over fatal stabbing of Kiwi teen Maaka Hakiwai in Melbourne

Maaka Hakiwai was allegedly killed over a hat.
Maaka Hakiwai was allegedly killed over a hat. Photo credit: GoFundMe

A man has been charged with murder over the fatal stabbing of a Kiwi teen in Melbourne.

Maaka Hakiwai, 17, was fatally stabbed in broad daylight at the end of September while walking home in the suburb of Kings Park with his brother Nathaniel, 18.

On Tuesday night, an 18-year-old Sydenham man was charged with murder, armed robbery and intentionally causing serious injury, Australian newspaper The Age reports. He is due to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Maaka and his brother were heading to the gym when five men stopped in a vehicle and ordered they give them a hat, a source close to the family told The Age.

When they refused, a man with a knife then got out of the vehicle.

Witnesses then described "several thugs" speeding off in a car as the brothers screamed for help, reports the Daily Mail.

"One boy was lying in a pool of blood and people were rushing out trying to save them.

"We saw family yelling as ambulances arrived," a neighbour told the newspaper.

Haunting footage from the scene was released by local media, showing paramedics working on one of the teenagers as a distraught woman, understood to be a relative, was consoled by an officer. A trail of blood could be seen staining the pavement for almost 20 metres.

Maaka was killed, while Nathaniel was taken to Alfred Hospital in a "stable but critical condition" after suffering multiple stab wounds.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Australia, their parents Stirling and Karli described the brothers as "inseparable".

The Hakiwai family.
The Hakiwai family. Photo credit: GoFundMe

"They were best friends... they did everything together," said the couple.

"Maaka our baby boy, pure evil has taken you away from us at 17 years young... we love you our son, brother, grandson, nephew and our dear friend. Fly high baby boy we love you more than words can express."

A GoFundMe page for the Hakiwai family has currently raised more than AU$41,000 (NZ$44,257) towards a AU$60,000 goal (NZ$64,766). The funds will be used to cover Maaka's funeral, care for Nathaniel and compensate for the family's lost income during this difficult time.