A Hastings man faces prison sentences of up to 10 years for a spate of bar-room burglaries he's alleged to have committed with his cousin.

Mark Darwin Hokianga has admitted 11 charges and is in custody awaiting sentence in Hastings District Court on September 9, while Rewiti Christopher Hokianga has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a trials callover and possible setting of a trial date on November 20.

The two, both aged 25 and born just eight weeks apart in 1989, were charged after a spate of at least 13 burglaries or attempted burglaries of bars from Napier to Waipukurau in in the three weeks from Anzac Day to May 15.

Police believe two people were involved in each of the raids which targeted cash, mainly after attempts to break into buildings through the roofs after the bars had closed late at night.


While just over $1000 was taken in the first burglary in Hastings, during which one cashbox was left on the roof of the Stortford Lodge Social Club, only two other burglaries were reported to have yielded any money.

In some cases, the burglars fled when alarms were activated.

The raids came to an end when police stopped a car near Hastings early on the morning of May 15, soon after a burglary during which an alarm was set off at the Farriers Arms in Waipukurau, a police summary said.

In the car, police found money bags, cash and receipts from the Farriers Arms, a black cash tin which had been taken in the first burglary, and a white sheet said to have been used by burglars to cover themselves during the raids in an attempt to avoid identification.

Also found in the car was was a notebook which police said documented different bars in Hawke's Bay and potential till takings, different security systems, and the methods of disguise.

Police said Mark Hokianga had admitted his offences and went on to describe "in detail" how they were carried out.