Kerikeri-based Northern Advocate reporter Peter de Graaf thought he had the story of his career on Tuesday, when he was assured by members of the constabulary that one of their number was none other than New Zealand jihadist Mark Taylor.

Taylor is currently languishing in a Syrian prison but is keen to come home. With a few exceptions most New Zealanders, including the majority of politicians, would be happy to see him stay there, but that, apparently, was old news. He was actually alive, well and gainfully employed in the Bay of Islands.

So Mr de Graaf, acting on information received, sidled up to the alleged ex-terrorist and asked a couple of probing questions.

"He was Mark Taylor. He quite freely admitted that, but not the same one who's been in the news," he candidly explained to a formerly trusted confidante.

Advertisement

And what did he say? "Oh, he mumbled something that ended in Infidel. So I left it at that."