Their first fight started over a cellphone battery. Then they started fighting about vodka. For members of Auckland's homeless community, being able to play music on a cellphone, while sipping on your beverage of choice drinking to pass the time, makes up a big part of the day. Workers let them charge their phones at shops and petrol stations. A phone is what Teina Wharawhara was initially arguing about a phone with Darrell Dunn before they got into a physical fight around a picnic table at a city park frequented by rough sleepers. Wharawhara's lifeless body was carried 500m to Auckland City Hospital by another homeless friend, after the friend failed to get anyone from the hospital to come to the park. But doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. What happened in the 42-year-old's life for him to end up on the streets is not known - his family declined to talk to the Herald - but one of his mates said he'd been on the streets for 20 years. A court file on the case provides a rare insight into a day in the life of some of Auckland's rough sleepers - starting with the small morning jobs they do to make money to fund their alcohol habits, and including detail on some of the treasured possessions they carry around with them. The file, which the Herald was given access to before Dunn was sentenced this morning to seven years and six months jail for Wharawhara's manslaughter, details what a cast of homeless characters - known by names such as Cowboy, Daz and H - who saw their friend die did to try to save him. did in the lead-up to his death and how they tried to save him.
On November 10, 2015, Darrell Dunn slept outside the Auckland District Court, where he often stayed with other "streeties". It wasn't a particularly different morning than any other for Dunn. He hung out with some of his friends by the court then
About 1pm Dunn decided to go to Newmarket so he jumped on a bus. An Auckland Transport Hop card was one of his few possessions which police would later find on him, when they processed him,
along with a $20 note and $8.70 in coins. The black Ferrari shoulder bag he carried had a further 70 cents, a bronze-coloured key on a chain, three cigarette butts, three lighters, a small quantity of meat, sunglasses, speakers held together with tape, Work and Income NZ papers, two McDonald's vouchers, two Huawei phones, earphones and a debit card. After catching the bus, Dunn, also known as Daz, tracked down fellow homeless men Teina Wharawhara and Alfred "H" Manu, who were begging - or as some streeties call it, hustling - and drinking outside the 2degrees mobile store on Broadway. They then moved around the corner to a spot on Teed St, dubbed Snake Alley, where they could drink bourbon and cola mixes Codys and Woodstock away from the eyes of police. The trio then headed to a BP station to charge their phones. At one point, Dunn left the others but caught up with them later at Outhwaite Park, near Auckland Domain, where they sat around a table with other homeless mates, talking, listening to music through Wharawhara's phone, and a pair of taped-up speakers, and continuing to drink alcohol. "So we were sitting there listening to sounds on Wharawhara's phone and we, our boys were drinking whisky, bottles of whisky," Dunn told the court.
A day in the life of a homeless man What Darrell Dunn did on November 10, 2015 1. Overnight: Sleeps outside Auckland District Court 2. 1pm: Takes bus to Newmarket, meets with Teina Wharawhara and Alfred "H" Manu outside 2Degrees 3. Drinks Codys and Woodstock on Teed St with the pair 4. Heads to BP to charge phone 5. 7pm: Heads to Outhwaite Park to drink and listen to music with Wharawhara and others, gets into fight with him, leaves park for bottleshop 6. 10.27pm: Seen with Manu walking along Grafton bridge to Pigeon Park, where they drink 7. 1.40am-2.15am: Keeps checking at ATM outside Family Bar for benefit money 8. 2.15am (approx): Goes to SkyCity 9. 4.20am: Back to Outhwaite Park where police tell him about Wharawhara's death
Manu would tell the court that Wharawhara kept asking for his phone back and became agitated. At one point, Dunn tried to reassure Wharawhara but "ended up giving him one in the mouth". They kept drinking. "But I was drinking my Kingfishers because I don't like whisky," Dunn said. He said Wharawhara started to get agitated because he wasn't passing him a bottle of vodka. Wharawhara lunged for the bottle but Dunn told the court he shrugged him off, and Wharawhara fell backwards. "I put the bottle down and said, 'Shit, sorry, bro', and then he jumped up. He looked really pissed off." Dunn said Wharawhara told him: "I'm going to f*** you up, Daz" and he noticed a blade before he lunged at him. Dunn threw up his hand to protect his face, before he felt a sharp, burning pain. He yelled: "F***, did you stab me?" Dunn started freaking out. "I just, I just only punched him, I, well, if I start punch that way, punch him, two punches to the left, left hand," he told the court. The prosecution did not agree. The Crown said Dunn also kicked Wharawhara in the head, causing a brain injury, which ultimately killed him. They found blood on the right cuff of Dunn's jeans. A DNA report stated it was a 6000 million times to one chance it was Wharawhara's blood. After the altercation, Dunn said his hand was bleeding so went to the barbecue area to wrap it up with a towel. When he came back to the table, Dunn remembers asking if Wharawhara was alright and Manu told him he was "just pissed". Dunn said that about five minutes later they ran out of booze so he and H left with two other homeless men, Virgil "Devine" Davison and Haramia Topia to get more. But he said they checked on Wharawhara first. "I just looked at him and I sort of give him little taps, you know, 'Bro, you alright, bro?'" Dunn said. "He responded. He was moving, he was breathing, so I thought, 'He's still alright', so we left." The group went to a bottle shop on K Rd and Davison bought a box of Diesel bourbon and cola mix.
But Devine and Topia were "hoha" - drunk - so Dunn and H grabbed the box and went to nearby Pigeon Park on the Symonds St corner to drink and wait for 2am when Dunn's benefit went into his account. He kept checking at an ATM on K Rd. At 2.15am, the money appeared so he withdrew it and they went to SkyCity. But it was quiet so the pair headed back to Outhwaite Park where they were saw security guards and police tape. When police told them Wharawhara had died, he remembers feeling overwhelmed and a bit drunk. He didn't think Wharawhara had died in the altercation. "He was alright," Dunn said. "He was moving. He was breathing. I had no idea." Dunn was arrested later that morning and reappeared at the Auckland District Court where he had slept the night before. But this time, his freedom was gone and he was charged over his friend's death.
Alfred "H" Manu
Before meeting Wharawhara to wait for Countdown to open so they could get some beers on the morning of November 10, Manu cleaned a sushi shop to make cash to afford their brew of choice - Kingfishers because they're 7.2 per cent. Once they got their beers, the pair headed to the 2degrees to beg. They took it in breaks, to "get some beer and go somewhere else, have a drink and then come back, back and forwards". They raised enough money for more Kingfishers and a small bottle of vodka. After charging their phones at BP, they moved to Outhwaite Park where they sat and drank for the rest of the evening. Manu likes Outhwaite Park because of the barbecues - he used to live there. They sat at a picnic table and were joined by some of their other buddies - JR, Cowboy and Vincent. Their other mate, Hoppy, was by the barbecues having a nap. "Teina kept asking for his speaker back, his phone," Manu told the court. "We just trying to reassure him his phone was safe. "He probably thought we were taking it but, hey, we lived together. He was moaning about it all the way through. "I go, 'Oh, just let the music play coz we got alcohol. Let's drink and be happy, man.'" Manu thought at one point Dunn tried to reassure Wharawhara but "ended up giving him one in the mouth". Wharawhara fell backwards, got back up, sat at the table, stayed quiet for a couple of seconds, and then then continued drinking and mumbling. Manu remembered hearing Dunn yell: 'F*** did you stab me?' When he took the vodka bottle from Dunn, it had blood on it. Wharawhara continued to mumble but Manu couldn't hear what he was saying.
"Wasn't paying attention. Just drinking, trying to get as drunk as I can." Manu said he wasn't getting drunk - "even though we'd been drinking all day still, means I say I'm drinking myself sober". Dunn smacked Wharawhara in the mouth again, twice, Manu told the court. He said he also saw Dunn kick him once. "I didn't think it was that bad, what he done then, at that time." At 10.07pm, Manu and Dunn are caught on CCTV heading along Grafton Bridge to K Rd. Manu is identified because has a bright blue backpack on. He calls it his "house" because it contains everything he owns.
Guy "Cowboy" Moore
Guy "Cowboy" Moore was about to leave Outhwaite Park but noticed Wharawhara on the ground. He saw blood on his nose and when he went to shake him, he was cold. "I thought he was sleeping 'til I went to say goodbye. Apparently he wasn't sleeping at all. Permanently asleep." Moore, who earned his nickname from the hat he wears, shook Wharawhara but didn't get a response so grabbed his wrist, trying to find a pulse. He couldn't find one. Panicking, he ran to Hoppy who was still asleep and woke him up saying: "Hoppy, our mate's dead." Moore ran down the road to try to get help but no one would stop. Trying to draw more attention to himself, he took off his shirt. "I had my shirt off, bare-chested man, standing in the middle of the road, trying to stop the traffic." But no one would stop.
After a day of washing windshields in Newmarket, Topia went to Outhwaite Park to look for his brother and noticed Wharawhara was slumped in the same position "pretty much all night". He panicked after Moore's failed resuscitation and ran 500m to Auckland City Hospital. "I went to the emergency office. The lady said, well, I wanted an ambulance, see if an ambulance will come and pick him up, I'm thinking, yeah." He remembers her getting angry, asking lots of questions and being on the phone for a long time. He ended up being escorted out by security and that's when he lost it. "I was going, 'My bro's up there and can we use a car? Do you want to take us up there?" But the woman had never heard of the park and couldn't understand where he was talking about. Topia ran back to the park to get his friend himself. Another street person, Jack Roberts, helped him put Wharawhara over his shoulders, getting him to the hospital at 11.03pm. "I just kicked into the adrenaline and rushed him down." A midwife, who gave evidence in Dunn's trial, yelled out when she saw him carrying Wharawhara in a "fire-lift style", asking if he was okay. Roberts yelled back: "No, he's f***ing dead." Wharawhara was pronounced dead upon arrival, a doctor noting there were no signs of life. An autopsy report found Wharawhara
blunt-force trauma was the direct cause of death though a contributing factor was alcohol intoxication. His blood was 363mg per 100ml of blood - more than seven times the legal driving limit
Known by his last name, Wharawhara has been remembered as a happy man, who liked hugs. Auckland woman Angela Bevan, who started working with the homeless community three years ago when she encountered a young homeless boy with no legs, spoke to some of his friends in the week after his death. "That's why this case spoke to me. It's quite a close-knit community. While I didn't know him personally, I could well have from my time getting to know people. "I went into town and asked questions about him. Not much was known about him and I thought 'that's sad'. Someone must know him, he will be missed. "I could gather there was a lot of sadness among his friends, he was very well liked. He'd been on the streets a long time. People were very tearful and said he was a very happy person." Bevan spoke to someone who said they'd known him for a while and that he had been homeless for 20 years. "He said he was a very happy person and always gave hugs and had a smile on his face." She added: "It is hard for most of us to understand but there is a real community on the streets. They have amazing amounts of resilience and spirit but they have quite innovative ways of dealing with conflict. There's a heirachy, it's like a family. Everybody knows their place. They're quite tight." Wharawhara was remembered with services around the country. He was honoured by his family at Te Iti O Haua Marae in Hamilton. Auckland's homeless community gathered at St Matthew's in the City to farewell him with a special memorial service. And another service was held by DCM, a group that helps homeless people in Wellington, at Wesley Church in the capital.