A man found guilty of murdering a Northland woman by running over her twice with a car has been jailed for at least 17 years.

Villiami Fungavaka, 47, drove his vehicle over Georgina Manuel, 28, twice in Kaitaia in August 2013. She died the next morning, after being flown to Whangarei Hospital.

In the High Court at Whangarei today Justice John Fair sentenced Fungavaka to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.

That means Fungavaka will serve 17 years before he can go before the parole board and apply to be released.


Members of Ms Manuel's family including her daughter mother. father and sister spoke to the court before the sentence was given and expressed their deep sense of loss and pain.

They said Fungavaka had shown no remorse for his actions and had made it worse by not pleading guilty and making them sit through an 8-week-long trial.

Justice Fair agreed and said Fungavaka had not shown his remorse in any letter to the court or the family.

Evidence during the trial was that Fungavaka was seen striking Ms Manuel with his 1.7 tonne Holden commodore as she stood on Pukepoto Rd, Kaitaia, then doing a U-turn to run over a second time as she lay on the road.

The Crown said Ms Manuel suffered two major injuries in both impacts, either of which could have killed her. When she was struck the first time she suffered massive brain injuries and the second time she was driven over her liver was crushed.

The defence said Ms Manuel had stepped out on the road and collided with the vehicle, and then Fungavaka had not seen her body as she lay in the poorly lit street the second time she was hit.