A convicted murderer who orchestrated a fatal assault on a Tauranga father while serving a life sentence has admitted organising another serious crime from behind bars.

Joseph Rewiri, 49, pleaded guilty to procuring an aggravated burglary in the District Court at Tauranga last week when he appeared by an audio-visual link from prison.

On February 20, this year Rewiri wrote a letter and handed it to another inmate in Paremoremo prison prior to the other prisoner's release, the court heard.

The police summary of facts also revealed that the letter indicated Rewiri was owed money by the occupants of an Omanawa address.

Advertisement

Rewiri's letter stated the occupants were manufacturing methamphetamine and he instructed the inmate to visit them and take vehicles and cash if they did not pay up.

He instructed the other man to use "force or violence should it be required", although the woman at the address should be offered the chance to make payments.

On February 27 the released prisoner and some associates visited the address.

Despite no mention of firearms in Rewiri's letter, the released prisoner took an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun with him in the car.

The group was intercepted by police before they could gain entry and the occupants of the address were not home at the time.

This was not the first time that Rewiri had orchestrated a serious violent offence from prison.

While serving a life term for murdering Peter Franklyn in an execution-style killing outside Rotorua International Stadium in 2006, Rewiri orchestrated an assault which led to the death of Tauranga businessman Gary Kimura in 2011.

Via text messages, Rewiri enlisted Witeri Ahomiro Neketai from Te Puke to collect a $31,000 drug debt from Mr Kimura and instructed him to "hammer" the victim first.

Mr Kimura, who was attacked at his home on October 5, 2011, suffered a fractured skull and died on his 44th birthday in Tauranga Hospital on November 9, 2011.

Rewiri, who pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter, received nine years' prison to be served concurrently with his life sentence when he and Neketai were sentenced in 2013.

Neketai was originally convicted of Mr Kimura's murder but the murder conviction was replaced by a manslaughter conviction by the Court of Appeal.

He was re-sentenced to preventive detention for a least six years in March 2015.

Rewiri's lawyer Tony Rickard-Simms invited Judge Thomas Ingram to sentence his client.

Mr Rickard-Simms said a concurrent term of a possibly a year's prison would be appropriate on a parity basis with Rewiri's co-defendant.

"It could only be a concurrent sentence," he submitted.

Judge Ingram said he was not prepared to sentence Rewiri without written submissions from the Crown and Mr Rickard-Simms and adjourned matters until November 6.

In a written statement Neil Beales, the Department of Corrections' chief custodial officer, said public safety was the department's "top priority".

"Prisoner communications are managed in a way to balance the ability for prisoners to communicate with family and friends against the need to protect public safety, and ensure the process isn't subverted to facilitate legal activity," he said.

"Our policies do not include restrictions on prisoners writing notes to each other or passing on messages in the same prison, he said.

Mr Beales said prisoners cannot send mail to another prisoner in a different prison without the prison manager's permission, nor write to someone who had a protection order against them.

Prisoners phone calls were monitored and their visitors vetted and, as far as practicable, mail was opened, read, and withheld in certain cases, he said.

"Prisoners who do attempt to manipulate the processes in place were held to account through the Department's internal misconduct system. If serious, the matter will be referred to police for consideration of criminal charges," Mr Beales said.

Joseph Rewiri's prior convictions include

Various firearms offences and cannabis-related offences
March 2002: Jailed for another four years for injuring with intent to injure, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, and kidnapping Rotorua man Peter Franklyn.
February 2008: Sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 14 years for the murder of Mr Franklyn, 43, who was shot three times on May 31, 2006.