A man has been charged with murder over the death of George Taiaroa, fatally shot two years ago while working with a roading crew north of Taupo.

The man, aged 45, was arrested this morning in Stratford and will appear at New Plymouth District Court tomorrow.

Detective Superintendent Tim Anderson said in a statement: "I've stated on a number of occasions in the last couple of years that the passing of time doesn't lower our resolve; it just increases our determination.

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"The professionalism and commitment of the team investigating Mr Taiaroa's death has not wavered for a second, and it is their determination and attention to detail that has got us to this point.

"There is still a great deal of work ahead of us as we enter into another significant phase in the investigation, and to protect the integrity of those legal proceedings it's not appropriate for me to elaborate further on today's development."

Detective Superintendent Anderson paid tribute to Mr Taiaroa's whānau. "They have been kept informed regularly and they have shown great patience, strength and dignity throughout."

Commissioner Mike Bush praised the investigation team on social media this afternoon, tweeting: "Thanks to the committed work of our Bay of Plenty staff that led to today's arrest in the George Taiaroa case."

Police said Mr Taiaroa's family had asked the media to respect their privacy.

The shooting was believed to have been seen by a truck driver at the one-way bridge at Atiamuri, about 45km north of Taupo, where Mr Taiaroa was controlling diverted traffic with a stop-go sign as part of a roading crew working on nearby State Highway 1.

The sighting led police to search for a Jeep Cherokee described by the truck driver. Police had said that the vehicle - seized in the weeks after Mr Taiaroa's death - was linked to the incident.

An August 2013 investigation by the Herald traced a Jeep matching the description of that seized by police through forestry roads north of Taupo - a winding path police called a "cobweb" of roads. The Herald traced the jeep to a Benneydale farm where it was believed the killer spent a week in hiding following Mr Taiaroa's death.

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Timeline

March 19, 2013:

George Taiaroa is fatally shot while operating a stop-so sign at roadworks in Atiamuri about 45km north of Taupo. The shooting happened at 3.10pm, about 25 minutes after Mr Taiaroa returned to his position at the western end of the bridge after a lunch break.

April 2013: Police say they have identified a "main suspect" in relation to the murder. A dark blue late-90s Jeep Cherokee is seized from an address in the Bay of Plenty, and forensically examined.

May 2013: Police say they believe Mr Taiaroa was sought out and targeted by his killer, who had planned the murder. Police said the killer did not know Mr Taiaroa or his family. The killer had a misguided motive for the murder, and may have been assisted or protected by family.

October 2014: The prime suspect sells his 200ha hillside property near the township of Whangamomona, about 65km northeast of Stratford to a local farmer.

Today 2015: A man in his 40s was arrested in Stratford this morning in relation to the murder.

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Commissioner Mike Bush praised the investigation team on social media this afternoon, tweeting: "Thanks to the committed work of our Bay of Plenty staff that led to today's arrest in the George Taiaroa case."