Substituting salt for methamphetamine and playing a key role in luring a would-be buyer to a remote area where he was shot has put a Rotorua man behind bars for six years and one month.

Sentencing Alexander Hayden Mowbray, 25, in the High Court at Rotorua today Justice Paul Heath declined to impose a minimum period of imprisonment, saying it would be up to Mowbray after serving a third of his sentence to prove to the Parole Board he was no longer a threat to the community.

Mowbray was initially charged with being a party to attempted murder but pleaded guilty when this was reduced to assault with intent to rob at Paradise Valley in October last year.

Justice Heath outlined how Mowbray, with several others, hatched a plot to rob their Australian victim by luring him to the remote spot on the pretext of selling him methamphetamine.

Mowbray had put the salt in a plastic bag and set out armed with a .303 rifle, a .22 sawn-off and a 12 gauge weapon, however the judge accepted he didn't know the guns were loaded. Others were also armed.

The judge told how a woman had driven Mowbray to Paradise Valley's Jubilee Track where their car's lights were shone on full beam on to the victim's vehicle. One of the group got into it demanding money in exchange for the bogus P.

When the victim ran off he was shot in the thigh with the .22 rifle and then struck on the head with it.

"You began to wrestle with him, he was shot in the back, fell and rolled into a drain," Justice Heath said.

The group drove off - leaving the victim lying on the ground with gunshot wounds, including one that had gone through his buttock, leaving his body via his groin.

Justice Heath noted because the victim lived in Australia he wasn't entitled to ACC, meaning his hospital treatment had cost him at least $10,000. However he had escaped psychological harm.

Mowbray had offered to take part in a restorative justice meeting however his victim couldn't be located.

The judge also commented on Mowbray cutting off his electronically monitored bracelet in June before handing himself in to police, saying this didn't form part of the sentence imposed.

He took into account Mowbray hadn't fired a weapon at the fleeing man but did play an important role by substituting the salt for P.

In May Joshua Patrick Homan, 25, was jailed for seven years and six months after admitting assaulting and robbing the victim. Justice Heath confirmed others involved had not been caught.