Remuera death: Pauline Hanna laid to rest as probe continues into unexplained death

The woman at the centre of an unexplained death has been farewelled at an Auckland church this morning as police continue to probe the Remuera home she shared with her eye specialist husband.

On the day friends and family gathered to lay the 63-year-old health worker Pauline Hanna to rest, police confirmed they were still trying to piece together her final moments.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board executive project director died on Easter Monday at her home in the upmarket Auckland suburb.

Police have been treating her death as unexplained.

The service, which was held this morning at Saint Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity, included touching moments with bubbles filling the air and a string quartet playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons during a photo tribute.

Friends, family, and colleagues described Hanna as a career woman who spent 30 years in healthcare, and enjoyed cooking, reading, and fitness. Noted for her elegance and style, she was regarded as a woman who could lend her hand to almost anything.

Taine Polkinghorne described his stepmother as the “glue” of the family.

He said his father Philip Polkinghorne and Pauline met in the 90s at Auckland City Hospital in the ophthalmology department.

“She described us three kids as her ‘ready-mades’,” he told thosed gathered to pay their respects.

As the service took place police confirmed they were still at the couple’s residence.

“The investigation into the circumstances surrounding Pauline Hanna’s sudden death remains ongoing,” said a spokesperson.

The scene examination at the Upland Rd property was ongoing and police were still there, the spokesperson confirmed.

This week a former senior police detective believed the prolongued investigation into the unexplained death in Auckland’s Remuera “sounds like it’s going to be a homicide inquiry”.

Emergency services were called to the Upland Rd home Hanna shared with her eye specialist husband on Easter Monday following Hanna’s “sudden” death.

Police have been stationed at the house for 10 days now, sometimes staying as late as 7.30pm.

Forensics were on site for several days following the death, and police could be seen talking to neighbours.

Those living close to the property told the Herald police asked if they had seen or heard anything unusual, such as car movements. One neighbour said they spotted police towing a red car from the house.

“It sounds like it’s a homicide inquiry,” former police detective Lance Burdett told the Herald.

“If it’s going on for any length of time they would be leaning towards suspicious [death] rather than unexplained.

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