Key Points:

Slain policeman Sergeant Derek Wootton was hit so hard by a stolen and speeding car his stab proof vest was stripped off him as he flew nearly 30m, the Porirua District Court was told last year in evidence that is no longer suppressed.

Mr Wootton, 52, became the 27th police officer to die in the line of duty in New Zealand when he was struck by the car as he was laying road spikes on Dimock Street, Titahi Bay.

Andrew Popo, 32, appeared at the court on December 16 for a week-long deposition hearing for the murder of the Porirua police officer on July 11. He pleaded not guilty.

Evidence during the hearing about Mr Wootton's death had been suppressed, but a High Court ruling has reversed the decision.

In his opening statement at the hearing, Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said the night that Mr Wootton was hit Popo was being pursued by police, in a car he had stolen hours earlier, at speeds of "up to and exceeding 150km/h".

"During the chase the defendant was cutting corners and at times was driving on the wrong side of the road," Mr Burston said.

The pursuit was well under way when Mr Wootton had arrived at the scene about 3am.

"He deployed spikes and as he did so, the car driven by Mr Popo hit him and he landed 27.7m away," Mr Burston said.

He died instantly from the massive injuries he had sustained to his head and chest.

"His stab-proof vest was stripped off him as he flew through the air."

Popo was arrested a short time later after the car stopped on a nearby lawn of a property with tyres deflated from the road spikes.

Mr Burston said that a few hours before the hit and run, Popo had beaten up a man from the suburb of Newlands, and stole his Honda Prelude that had another person inside it at the time.

The car owner suffered injuries to his head, eye, rib, legs and arms.

He ran to his mother-in-law's house a few streets away and called for help.

Under cross examination by defence lawyer Chris Stevenson, the man said he had lied to his mother-in-law and said he had been "jumped" by three people.

However, he said now he could only remember one person attacking him.

P opo, who is due to face trial in June, had earlier been charged with dangerous driving, failing to stop after a motor accident and kidnapping.

A robbery and a grievous bodily harm charge were withdrawn by the Crown at the start of the depositions.

Mr Burston said he planned to call 32 witnesses.

- NZPA