Killer Zakariye Mohamed Hussein granted leave

Killer Zakariye Mohamed Hussein

Refugee killer, Zakariye Mohamed Hussein, in his long white Islamic dress, bored of seducing the women locked in with him inside NZ’s most luxurious mental health wards, just wanted to go home to Somalia. He’s a nice enough guy, friendly, chatty. Is killer Zakariye Mohamed Hussein another victim of Winston Peters’ Global Immigration Compact who was desperately trying to do anything to get out of NZ but didn’t realise that due to the Global Compact he was stuck here and can’t be repatriated?

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The man accused of murdering a stranger had been granted leave from the mental health facility where he was being cared for in a secure unit.

When he didn’t return as he should have, Hillmorton Hospital staff alerted police. By then, Laisa Maraia Waka had been fatally stabbed.

Waka, 52, was just metres from her home in Cheyenne St, Sockburn when she was attacked by a man wielding a knife about 4.20pm on Saturday.

She died at the scene.

A 37-year-old man, who has name suppression, was arrested a short time later, about 500m away in Epsom Rd, and charged with her murder.

The man was an inpatient at Hillmorton Hospital where he was being cared for in a secure unit.

On Saturday, he was granted community leave from the secure unit.

About 2pm, he caught a bus to his brother’s home in Sockburn, about 6km away.

The man made it to his sibling’s house, but left. Waka was fatally stabbed nearby a short time later.

On Wednesday, police confirmed they were notified the man was missing about 4.45pm on Saturday, nearly 30 minutes after Waka was attacked.

Investigators working on the homicide inquiry have interviewed staff who were working at Hillmorton Hospital that day.

On Tuesday, Waka’s grieving husband, Nemani Tunidau, said he was angry that the man who allegedly killed her was in the community, and frustrated at the lack of information health officials have released about the case.

The Canterbury District Health Board had previously refused to comment while the matter was before the courts.

However, on Wednesday, in response to a series of questions from Stuff, the health board’s chief executive Dr Peter Bramley said he could “confirm that the man accused of her murder was a patient of the DHB’s specialist mental health service based at Hillmorton, who had been on community leave”.

He said a full review of the man’s care at Hillmorton Hospital was underway following what was deemed a “serious adverse event”.

“I can assure the public that if there are recommendations for changes to be made as a result of our own, or any external review, these will be actioned.”

Bramley said his thoughts were with Waka’s family and friends at “this very sad time”.

He declined to comment further, citing ongoing court proceedings.

Bramley’s statement does not say why the accused was granted community leave, what conditions he was subject to, or when he was due back.

Health Minister Andrew Little said he wrote to the Ministry of Health’s director of mental health and addiction on Wednesday seeking assurances a “full investigation would be conducted” into what had happened.

Little said he expected inquiries to be conducted by both the director and the district health board.

“We have to know what the circumstances were that meant [the man] was out on the streets on Saturday afternoon.”

He said he hoped to be provided with some clarity next week.

“This is incredibly tragic for [the victim’s] family … and my thoughts are with them.”

Ministry of Health acting deputy director-general Dr Arran Culver said the ministry was in contact with the CDHB and was “working to understand the circumstances surrounding this incident”.

A Hillmorton Hospital staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity said staff were shocked and saddened at what had happened to Waka.

“I thought oh, how terrible, that shouldn’t have happened, I didn’t want to believe it.”

She said conditions at the specialist mental health facility had become increasingly “dangerous” as a result of a staffing crisis, which had been exacerbated by Covid-19. When staff were off sick others were asked to work double shifts, and many were working 60 hours a week to fill gaps.

The district health board confirmed earlier this month there had been two serious assaults on staff members by a patient in a secure unit at the hospital on June 3 and May 19. Stuff understands the victims were nurses. Their injuries included concussion and broken ribs.

The Hillmorton staff member said it was “unusual for people on that ward to go on leave”.

The woman said many staff at the unit had less than five years experience working in mental health, and felt their concerns about safety had not been taken seriously by management.

There was always pressure to provide beds for new patients in the secure units, she said.

This created pressure to discharge patients elsewhere in the facility before they were ready, or it was safe to do so.

The woman said there needed to be an inquiry into how Hillmorton Hospital was being managed.

In early June the Association for Salaried Medical Specialists, a union representing specialists including psychiatrists, asked for a temporary increase in security guards at Hillmorton, until significant staffing shortages could be addressed, executive director Sarah Dalton said.

In February, there were 50 staff vacancies across Hillmorton Hospital, of which 30 were nursing, four medical and 16 allied health.

High staff turnover and the Covid-19 response had resulted in a reduction in the number of beds across the district health board’s specialist mental health services, specialist mental health services general manager Greg Hamilton said in March.

Waka moved to New Zealand from Fiji in 2018 for a better life, and worked at a retirement village in Ilam.

The mother of four was a well respected member of Christchurch’s Moraia Fijian Parish, where she sang in the choir.

She and her husband had applied for residency. They lived at their Cheyenne St home with their 11-year-old son, who witnessed the aftermath of Saturday’s stabbing and is traumatised by what he saw.

Waka’s body will be flown back to Fiji on Thursday, and her funeral will be held there on Saturday.

Canterbury district commander Superintendent John Price previously described the “senseless” attack as “horrific, traumatic and random”.

At a court hearing on Monday, the accused was remanded in custody until his next appearance in the High Court on July 15.

The judge asked for a report under Section 38 of the Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act 2003 to assess the man’s fitness to stand trial.

At least 54 people have died in suspicious or homicidal circumstances in New Zealand so far in 2022.

At the same time last year there had been 44 suspected homicides. Last year’s toll closed at 72.

On average there are 67 homicides in New Zealand each year. The rate of 1.3 homicides per 100,000 people is above the OECD median of 0.95 per 100,000.

The Homicide Report’s data is provisional and may change depending on the outcome of investigations and court cases.

Man accused of killing stranger granted community leave from mental health facility