The 50-year-old man charged with murdering Lorna-Anna Marie Thompson in Whanganui is Eric Ara Mete.
Thompson, 41 was found dead last month at her home above a shop on the corner of Ingestre St and Victoria Ave.
Mete is the brother of Labour MP Kiri Allan.
Allan told reporters today that it was an extremely trying time.
She confirmed the victim and her brother were known to each other.
Allan said she did not grow up with Mete and they were raised in separate towns.
"We are still whānau," she said.
"I'm an auntie, sister, daughter - separate from my role as a parliamentarian. It's been a challenging time. For us it's really recognising the impact it's had on [the dead woman's] family."
Allan said she was from a large whānau and she was the ninth of 10 children.
Allan said: "Our thoughts and all of our aroha have been with the victim and her whānau at this time."
Name suppression lapsed for Mete when he appeared in the High Court in Whanganui at 9.15am on Thursday.
Mete was represented by lawyer Debbie Goodlet who said a psychiatric assessment had been completed on her client and the recommendation was that he undergo a section 38 1 A and B report.
No plea was entered and Mete will appear in the court again for a case review hearing via audio-visual link on July 12.