Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's education and lifestyle reporter.

Guilty plea over crash that killed Rotorua mum Stephanie McHale

Stephanie McHale pictured with her son Gareth. Photo / Supplied
Stephanie McHale pictured with her son Gareth. Photo / Supplied

The man responsible for the death of Rotorua woman Stephanie McHale has pleaded guilty to two charges of careless driving.

Winiata Wakeley Tamaki, 43, appeared in Rotorua District Court this morning pleading guilty to careless driving causing death and careless driving causing injury.

He was remanded at large to next appear in court for sentencing on June 16.

Winiata Tamaki pleaded guilty to careless driving charges this morning. Photo / Ben Fraser
Winiata Tamaki pleaded guilty to careless driving charges this morning. Photo / Ben Fraser

Mrs McHale, 29, died in a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 5 near Rotorua last October.

She left behind husband Ben and 6-week-old son Gareth, who was in the car at the time of the crash.

Her son was uninjured but taken to hospital for observation.

Mrs McHale was a physiotherapist active in several local sporting clubs.

She was vice-president of the Rotorua Association of Triathletes and Multisport. Soon after her death, outgoing president Nina Dobson said Mrs McHale was "amazing, both as an athlete and on the committee. She was a very giving person. We will miss her spark, her energy and enthusiasm. Nothing was too hard for and she always went out of her way to help others."

Mrs McHale - then Stephanie Pearson - was Rotorua Girls' High School head girl in 2003.

Last October the school's former principal said Mrs McHale was selected by her peers and staff.

"She was really caring, very committed and it all came from her attitude. She quite naturally took charge, virtually all groups she was in she was the leader or captain."

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 10 Dec 2016 11:40:43 Processing Time: 398ms