A man has told his cousin that he still loves him and his whānau have forgiven him for murdering his brother by "acts of savage violence" while he was "in a rage".
Tainui Andrew Oti has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years and three months for violently assaulting his cousin "on and off for hours" in a Manurewa rental home they shared in February 2020, which led to his death.
The victim had moved in with Oti after being found rough sleeping by another family member at Māngere Bridge.
But on the night of February 28 after making a comment about Oti's children, was subject to a "thorough beating over an extended period of time".
Oti punched and kicked his cousin consistently throughout the night, at one point knocking down his door when he tried to lock himself in his bedroom and using a drawer as a weapon to strike him at least six times.
Neighbours heard Oti swearing, thumping noises and a person crying out in pain.
Judge Matthew Muir said he slammed his cousin's head into the floor multiple times "with considerable force" around 5.30am, and earlier stomped on his chest, fracturing his ribs.
This final beating - which lasted 30 to 40 minutes - is what ultimately led to his death, Justice Muir concluded.
Oti, 47, went to sleep and found him "motionless and cold" on the bedroom floor around noon the next day.
He initially lied to police about his involvement.
Oti was found guilty of murder by a jury trial which ended on May 7.
Today the victim's brother, Oti's cousin, said he treats Oti like a brother despite the death.
He looked Oti in the eye as he read his victim impact statement at the High Court in Auckland.
"Was he an idiot? Yes he was," he said.
"Tainui you're still a brother to me. My whānau forgives you.
"There is no excuse for what you've done.
"If they throw everything at you, you deserve it. But we are whānau. I love you."
Oti went to shake his cousin's hand before security guards pulled him away.
The pair had participated in restorative justice hui.
Oti is committed to the process of change, Niven said, and has shown remorse.
The court heard how Oti had abused alcohol and drugs.
Oti's family based in Queensland sat through the sentencing via audio visual link.
Where to get help:
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline
on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334.
• Alternatively contact your local police station
• If you have been abused, remember it's not your fault.