New Zealand’s surfing community is raising money to support Bianca Buckley, the fiancee of murdered Australian surfer Sean McKinnon.
Ms Buckley was forced to flee for help last Friday morning when a man shot into their campervan near Raglan, southwest of Auckland, killing Mr McKinnon.
“Bianca is an avid surfer and ocean lover and our hearts are breaking for her,” Lynne Hunt said on the Givealittle fundraising page.
“Whilst we cannot take away her pain or loss, we are wanting her to know she is surrounded by so much love and support at this time and that we are here to help in any way we can.”
Ms Hunt said the money raised – $5,228 by Tuesday afternoon – from New Zealand’s “Ocean Family” would go to Ms Buckley to support her travelling back to her home in Canada or whatever else she’d like to do with it.
New Zealand police on Tuesday announced a pre-arranged gun buyback would be held in the Waikato region on Wednesday and Sunday.
The country banned semi-automatic weapons after the Christchurch massacre in March and opened a national amnesty and buyback program to collect the weapons.
The Waikato collection comes as police continue looking for the gun that killed Mr McKinnon.
Police have urged anyone who may have spotted a hitchhiker around Gordonton or at nearby Whitikahu during the day on Friday to contact them.
A 23-year-old man was charged with murder on Saturday. He allegedly fired several shots into the couple’s campervan, then drove off with Mr McKinnon dying inside.
Ms Buckley managed to escape and fled on foot to a farmhouse to call for help. Mr McKinnon’s body was later found in the vehicle in the nearby town of Gordonton at 8am on Friday.
In a note shared with Nine News, Ms Buckley wrote that Mr McKinnon was “the light and love of my life. My greatest teacher. My protector.”
While Ms Buckley has asked for privacy, Detective Inspector Graham Pitkethley said she and the family appreciated the support they have received.
The accused killer faced Hamilton District Court and was remanded in custody to appear again in the High Court on August 27. His name and identity have been suppressed.