A Pāpāmoa man was "significantly harmed" when his son's ashes were stolen during a robbery by a Black Power gang member.

The ashes were in an urn inside the victim's car when it was stolen and are still missing.

Tupaea Kerr, who appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday by audio-visual link from prison, was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

In April this year, a Tauranga jury found Kerr guilty of charges of aggravated robbery, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and assault of a person with a weapon.


Judge Christopher Harding also ordered Kerr to pay his victim $5000 reparation and another $5000 for the significant emotional harm caused.

Kerr, a patched Black Power member, was a drug dealer and had not been paid by some of his customers, Judge Harding said.

On May 29, 2017, Kerr turned up at the victim's home and claimed he was owed $400 and stole the man's vehicle, valued at $25,000 when he did not pay up.

The next day, the victim visited Kerr and offered to pay the money to get his car back but Kerr demanded he paid double that amount.

A few days later, Kerr learned the victim had reported the car theft to the police.

He returned to the house on June 7, intending to also take a second victim's vehicle.

While the second man was pleading his case for it not to be taken, Kerr picked up a tomahawk and swung towards his head, missing him.

After the second victim ran from the house and called out for his neighbours to call the police, Kerr and his associate fled the address.


Kerr argued there was no physical violence or attempted violence by him, but Judge Harding rejected that.

"This was a classic case of a standover [robbery] with threats of violence," he said.

Judge Harding said the robbery clearly had significantly affected the victim, who not only lost his vehicle but, more importantly, his son's ashes.

Several other items that were inside the vehicle are still missing.

Judge Harding said the vehicle was subject to finance at the time of the robbery and the victim was still paying off what he owed.

The judge gave Kerr some credit for his remorse and efforts to help return the vehicle, however, it was badly damaged with an estimated repair bill of $4400.

Judge Harding said $10,000 total reparation was not inappropriate given the extent of losses and significant emotional harm the victim had suffered.