New Zealanders know it as a shrine to Navtej Singh, the storekeeper shot dead in an armed hold up, but few know that Mr Singh's cousin and business partner was robbed in the same liquor store in Riverton Drive Manurewa just two months later.

Gurwinder Singh, 40, who watched as Navtej Singh was shot point blank, was still grieving when Douglas Leatinuu and two others entered his store on August 6 to rob it.

Last week Leatinuu was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for aggravated robbery and burglary charges arising from other incidents.

Judge Roy Wade said while sentencing Leatinuu, the case was "particularly poignant" because of Mr Singh's victim impact statement.

"The victim of this liquor store robbery tells me that his most traumatic feature of the ordeal was the knowledge that only [two] months earlier his business partner had been shot dead in another aggravated robbery of precisely the same liquor store."

The court heard that the three men had, after entering the liquor store, attempted to convince Gurwinder Singh to let them take some alcohol and pay the next day. Mr Singh refused and the group left.

But seconds later they re-entered, pushed 22-year-old shop assistant Sahib Singh backwards and swore at him. Mr Singh was on the phone to the police by then and was describing everything that was happening, he said yesterday.

Mr Singh was then punched in the shoulder which caused him to stagger backwards.

The thieves made off with beer and two bottles of gin.

The Riverton Liquor Store is now a shrine to Navtej Singh with a large photo of him on one side of the counter and an even bigger painting on the other side.

Yesterday Gurwinder Singh said the second incident had not scared him as he knew it couldn't have been worse than what he had already experienced.

Selling the store after the incidents had never crossed his mind, he said.

"Things are getting better. We have to do the job. We can't be scared of them. We have to pay the mortgage, things like that."

He believes the store was targeted as thieves knew they did not want to get in trouble with the police for holding weapons under the counter to fight back.

Navtej Singh's death on June 7 sparked a review of liquor laws.

A report said the country needed to consider sweeping changes, including more taxes on alcohol, greater restrictions and powers around licensing, shorter opening hours for pubs and changes to the purchasing age including the legal age for drinking, beer advertisements and blood alcohol levels for drivers.

Family friend and spokesman for the New Zealand Sikh Society Daljit Singh said the store had increased security since the two incidents.

"This has absolutely, deeply shattered us that this has happened a second time at the store. "We're trying our best to support the family."

He said Mr Singh's death had encouraged leaders of ethnic groups in South Auckland to band together.

Tongan and Samoan elders had this year celebrated Diwali with the Sikh community and the latter group had donated $5000 to Samoan tsunami victims.

Three months after the liquor store attack, Leatinuu stole a $4000 plasma television from real estate agent Wayne Douglas' house on Everlea Place in Alfriston.

A month later he was disturbed by houseowner Michael Rawnsley while stealing a PlayStation 2 from a property on Great South Rd in Papakura.

He managed to drive away with the PlayStation but Mr Rawnsley took his licence plate number and Leatinuu was found later.

Judge Wade said Mr Rawnsley was shocked to find Leatinuu in his home and asked: "What would have happened if my daughter was home?"

One of the other men guilty of the robbery, John Tino, was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison. The third man, Patrick Taele, will be sentenced next month.

Six people will stand trial in February for Navtej Singh's murder.