Man charged with murdering farmer

Photo / File
Photo / File

A man has appeared in Kaitaia District Court charged with the murder of a Far North farmer.

The arrested man was granted interim name suppression when he appeared before Judge Keith de Ridder, charged with murder.

The charge comes after police ewer called to a farm just north of Te Kao shortly before 11pm on Thursday, after reports a man was badly injured.

When they arrived, they found the 77-year-old had died from knife wounds.

Far North District Council Te Hiku ward councillor David Collard said the Far North's reputation was being tarnished by highly-publicised violence in the community, including two other homicides since December 31, 2015.

"The media portrays it as violence all the time, but I don't see that getting around the place. It seems the violence is hidden - it's very sad and it becomes an indictment on all the good people who live here," Cr Collard said.

Mr Collard said the community surrounding Te Kao was "wonderful".

"I actually got stuck in a vehicle at Te Kao recently and the local people went out of their way to help me. They're great people up there... And for them to be condemned by the actions of a violent minority is just not fair," he said.

Police announced today they were rushing extra officers to the Far North to help deal with the spate of homicides and other violent offences there.

Commissioner Mike Bush announced four new staff for the region where at least four homicides have been committed this year.

There have also been a number of violent assaults and robberies - including three knife attacks in Kaitaia in one week of July.

However, the officers will just be relocated from elsewhere in New Zealand - meaning there will be fewer officers in other regions.

- NZ Herald

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