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Quest continues

Information on missing shoe sought in disappearance of Jamie Kaiwai.

The family of missing Uawa woman Jamie Kaiwai have released a photograph of the type of shoes she is believed to have been wearing when she disappeared in October, 2019.

The shoes were black leather Converse Chuck Taylor high tops, women's size 8.

One was in her car — a blue Nissan Tiida — which was found abandoned with the keys still in the ignition and her wallet and cigarettes on the front seat at the Tolaga Bay Wharf carpark on Sunday, October 13.

The shoe was stuck in the leg of Jamie's grey track pants, which were inside out, sandy and damp, in the boot of the vehicle.

The pants were with two of Jamie's hoodies, one inside the other, with blood on the inside cuff of one of the sleeves.

A black leather jacket with blood on the sleeves was on the front seat of the vehicle, along with a black jersey, which also had blood on it.

It is not known if this clothing was Jamie's.

All the clothing was uplifted as evidence by police when they searched the vehicle on October 14.

Jamie's cousin Jonique Oli-Alainu'uese, who has been leading the family's quest to find out what happened to her, was shown photographs of the clothing at a meeting with police last year.

The relationship between police and the family has become strained.

The family believe police failed to properly investigate the case and were too quick to decide Jamie's disappearance was a suicide.

The car was not forensically examined and was left with Jamie's grandad after he went with police to retrieve it from the wharf on October 13.

Aware Jamie had past mental health issues (she was hospitalised in 2018 for drug-induced psychosis), police suspected the blood on the clothing was due to self-harm and that because the car was found there, she must have deliberately entered the water at the wharf.

However, a detailed and extensive 10-day search of the water and seabed by police failed to locate any sign of her.

Jamie's family believe she had recovered well from her ill-health of the previous year and that something sinister might have caused her disappearance. They have enlisted the help of a private investigator to delve more deeply into the case.

The investigator, Hamish Kerr, says evidence reviewed by him to date does not rule out the possibility of foul play. He believes the community holds the key to finding out what happened and is calling on people with information to contact him via a confidential phone line (0800 123 114) or email FindJamie@scope.co.nz

It is possible Jamie's missing shoe is still somewhere in the environment, that it might have been in someone's possession at some stage and that somebody might recall having seen it, Mr Kerr says.

There has already been a steady flow of other information, Mr Kerr says.

Photographs already supplied to him crucially show Jamie's car was moved and left in different car parks at the Tolaga Bay Wharf carpark on October 10 and 12, and was in yet another position on the 13th before it was retrieved by her grandad.

Mr Kerr recently appealed to the public for further photographs that could add to that evidence by potentially showing other movements of the vehicle and people who might have visited or driven it. The car was reported to police by a Maori warden who discovered it at the wharf carpark at about 5am on Sunday, October 13, while preparing for the Tuia 250 event there that day.

The event attracted a large crowd. Mr Kerr says it's possible people of interest were there and near the car before it was recovered.

Foul play not ruled out

Jamie's phone, which might logically have been expected to be with her wallet and cigarettes in her car, was not. It was found later in her room at the Tolaga Bay Inn, Mr Kerr says.

Activity on it had ceased at about 9.30pm on October 9.

Her eftpos card turned up near a toilet block on the beach side of Ferneaux Street at the northern end of Tolaga Bay beach.

Information obtained from Jamie's laptop through her family's efforts ahead of the private investigation shows automatic uploads from Jamie's phone of trips she made in the weeks before she went missing.

Jamie had driven to Hawke's Bay and to Te Araroa, but only stayed about five minutes at each.

The family does not shy from the possibility these trips could have been drug-related and that Jamie therefore could have been associating with people in a dangerous criminal underworld.

A Givealittle fundraiser reached its target of $100,000 this week. Money from it will go towards legal representation for the whanau, independent forensic work and the investigation.

Further reading



JAMIE AND COUSINS: Missing East Coast woman Jamie Kaiwai (right) with her cousins Liana and Sam. Jamie is wearing her favourite shoes - the black leather Converse Chuck Taylor high tops she is believed to have also been wearing when she went missing from Tolaga Bay in October 2019. Picture supplied
Shoe clue: A commercial photograph of Converse's black leather Chuck Taylor high tops, like those Jamie Kaiwai owned.

Leave a Reply to Vanessa Parker, Auckland Cancel reply

  1. TeRina Wharepapa, Te Kaha says:

    Kia Kaha te whanau ❤️❤️

  2. Vanessa Parker, Auckland says:

    I am truly amazed at the fact that the NZ Police failed to conduct a proper investigation from the get-go. Typical discrimination.
    I’m glad that her family are not naive. The person(s) responsible will be held accountable.
    Rest in love Jamie.
    To her whanau, I am truly proud to be Maori because you have highlighted that we may have underlying problems, but that does not mean we can be discriminated against or treated like we are not relevant.
    We are human and we have rights too.
    Let no one stand on your mana.
    I know the truth will prevail.