A festering dispute over whānau land "down the coast" is at the core of an attempted murder, evidence given relating to a shooting 17 years ago indicates.

On trial in the High Court at Rotorua is Tauranga man Warren Uata Kiwi, 58, who has denied attempting to murder Karl Anders Nyman at his home in Owhata, Rotorua, on July 31, 2002. Kiwi also pleaded not guilty to conspiring with others to murder Nyman between April and July the same year.

A distant relative of Kiwi's, Coral Therese Farrell, said he told her in 2011 he had been responsible for the shooting, claiming Kiwi told her he had been asked by someone to "take Nyman out" because of a land dispute.

Questioned by Crown prosecutor Chris Macklin, she said she knew Kiwi as Archie and had been told about his involvement at a family member's funeral. She claimed she had been instructed not to bring the name of the person who ordered the shooting into any conversations.

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She agreed with Kiwi's lawyer, Gene Tomlinson, Kiwi liked to tell stories. Pressed, she agreed some may not necessarily be true.

She reiterated Kiwi told her he had been led to believe the man he was to shoot was a Pākehā but when he confronted him he discovered he was Māori. "He said he didn't hurt other Māori."

Macklin read the jury a series of statements. Among them was evidence relating to fingerprints and DNA taken from the scene of the shooting and the rifle used.

No identifiable fingerprints had been detected and although some human DNA had been found it could not be sourced to any one individual.

The jury also heard the rifle used had been stolen from Kiwi's father's ute some time before the Rotorua shooting.

Justice Pheroze Jagose told jurors having the evidence read into the record with the agreement of both the Crown and defence, rather than being given in person, had shortened the trial considerably.

The final Crown witness, Detective Mahara Alcock, the officer in charge of the case, told of speaking to Kiwi in August last year at his Welcome Bay home in relation to the 2002 shooting.

She said during an interview at the Tauranga police station, he spoke about his dead brother, Graeme Kiwi, blaming the shooting on him. She said she asked him how that would sit with his family and that she did not believe him.

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He was re-interviewed on DVD, given time to get his affairs in order, and was arrested and charged the following day in Rotorua.

Her evidence is continuing.