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

Stop-go murder: Site visit for scene of George Taiaroa death for Winders jurors

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Jurors in the Quinton Winders murder trial have been able to visit the spot where George Taiaroa was killed, marked now by a faded hi-vis jacket and blue hardhat.

The group spent time today pacing the arched bridge on Tram Rd and the surrounding area, including the 67-year-old stop-go worker's roadside memorial, as part of a scene visit scheduled by Justice Kit Toogood.

The visit to Tram Rd was one of a number of key areas being discussed in the trial of Winders, the man accused of shooting Mr Taiaroa on March 19, 2013.

The accused also went on the scene visit, remaining expressionless as he stood with his lawyer below the bridge and apart from the jurors.

Brief stops were also made at the Atiamuri bridge, Tirohanga Rd and Ongaroto Rd.

The Crown proposed earlier in the trial that jurors should visit the sites so they had a clear idea of the area witnesses were giving evidence on.

Upon returning from the site visit, the court heard from six witnesses who talked about their encounters with a dark-coloured vehicle on the afternoon Mr Taiaroa was killed.

Each witness had varying descriptions of the vehicle's shape, make and colour.

Department of Conservation rangers Howard Matthew and Richard Hemara gave their accounts of a vehicle driving at speed through the Pureora forest.

"Howard and I were outside having a chat and then I heard the sound of stones flicking. It caught my attention because cars are usually going quite slow in the area and this vehicle was coming at quite some pace," Mr Hemara recounted.

"Then I heard it hitting the judder bars 'bang, bang, bang'. They are there to slow people down so normally you can hardly hear a car going over them."

Mr Hemara described the vehicle as a late model "bluey, green" Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows.

Mr Matthew gave a similar account of the event, though he did not know what make or model the vehicle was, only that it was a SUV-type.

"I turned to Richard and said they were a bloody idiot for travelling at that speed and that they were going to destroy their suspension going over the judder bars like that."

Another witness, Dennis Cook spoke of a dark blue, dusty, 1990s "squarish" Jeep that "was travelling fairly fast right in the middle of the road".

Mr Cook's passenger at the time, Guy Kereopa, also took the stand, describing the vehicle as "really going for it".

He said the vehicle was not a van, but also not a car, a "Remuera tractor".

The trial will continue tomorrow with the court hearing from witnesses relating to Winders' movements prior to Mr Taiaroa's death.

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