Sosiua Helotu Ula, 19, died after falling from a speeding car in a drug deal gone wrong in 2018.

According to the summary of facts, Ula came to Porirua from Auckland, planning to find someone to sell 140g of methamphetamine to.

He eventually connected with Niania, a patched Mongrel Mob member, and met with him to make the deal.

"The victim Ula and [another defendant] were unaware that the defendant Niania was in
significant debt to several criminal gangs, having only $300 in his possession with which
to purchase the methamphetamine," the summary said.


The value of the meth Ula had was between $37,000 and $40,000, police said.

If sold by the gram, the street value would be $70,000.

Ula and the man he came to Porirua with drove to the Waitangirua mall carpark, where Ula got into the back of the Mercedes which Niania was driving.

Ula handed the drugs to Niania before getting into a "heated" disagreement over payment.

Ula's companion called out to ask if everything was okay, to which Niania replied they were going to go for a drive. Ula asked his companion to follow in his car.

But as the two vehicles became separated in traffic, Ula "realised the situation he was in", and told Niania to stop driving. Niania instead sped up.

As they approached a roundabout, Ula saw an opportunity to escape and opened the rear door of the car to make a break for it, but Niania took the roundabout at 70km/h. He began overtaking other vehicles as Ula's companion struggled to keep up.

"In trying to exit the Mercedes, the victim Ula moved his body halfway out of the vehicle's
door, facing forward in the direction the car was travelling," the summary said.


"He rested his right hand on the open car door, and held onto the car's door frame with his left hand.

"At this stage, the victim Ula's feet remained inside the vehicle as he clung onto the car. His grip on the car door was hindered, however, as the victim Ula was still gripping the
five ounces of methamphetamine in his hand."

Another man in the car with the pair tried to grab Ula, but he kicked out against him.

The Mercedes sped another 600m after going through the roundabout before Ula lost his grip and fell headfirst onto Warspite Ave, suffering "massive skull fractures and uncontrollable brain swelling".

The bag of meth split open as he hit the road.

Despite his "severe injury", Ula tried to get back to his feet before losing consciousness and falling back to the ground.

As he lay on the ground, members of the public rushed to help him. Niania turned the car around, ran up to Ula, and took the bag of meth from his hand, yelling at a member of the public "he stole this from me".

He then fled the scene, later calling police to report his Mercedes as stolen.

Ula's companion, who had met just a few days earlier, saw Ula lying injured on the road and immediately drove to Wellington, where he caught a flight home to Auckland, the summary said.

Ula died in hospital two days later.

When spoken to by police, Niania said he sped away from the mall with Ula in the car because he thought Ula's companion was about to pull a gun on him.

Niania pleaded guilty late last year to manslaughter, kidnapping, possession of meth for supply, and driving while disqualified. He appeared in the High Court at Wellington this morning for sentencing.

Defence lawyer Mike Antunovic said Niania was doing his best to "turn his life around".

Justice Jan-Marie Doogue said Niania's actions in taking the meth from Ula's hand as he lay dying on the road showed "a high degree of callousness".

"I accept that you didn't intend to kill Mr Ula ... your actions created the situation where Mr Ula endeavoured to escape from a moving car."

She said his dangerous driving also contributed to Ula's death.

Niania has previous driving and drug-related convictions, but has never been to prison before.

Justice Doogue said a cultural report showed Niania grew up "entrenched in gang environments", but noted others had too, and hadn't gone on to commit crimes.

She sentenced him to five years and one month in prison, and disqualified him from driving for three years and six months after his release.

As Niania left the courtroom he appeared to nod toward Ula's sisters in the public gallery, then turned to his own family and told them to "be strong".