Career criminal Wayne Beri has admitted that he robbed Chr' />

One of New Zealand's biggest crime mysteries has finally been solved - from the grave.

Career criminal Wayne Beri has admitted that he robbed Christchurch's Aulsebrooks biscuit factory of its $20,000 Christmas payroll in 1969 - it was New Zealand's biggest hold-up.

Beri admitted the robbery in a manuscript he was writing while in prison about his life of crime.

He died suddenly of a heart attack in Christchurch Prison six years ago, aged 58.

The manuscript has now been turned into a book by his family and will be released this month.

Beri, who spent 28 years in jail, mainly for drug importation, was one of New Zealand's most notorious criminals.

He bought drugs from the "Mr Asia" syndicate and Terry Clark, and was the kingpin of an Auckland-based drug importation gang in the mid-1980s.

Police busted it using New Zealand's first bugging operation, Operation Fruit.

He was also implicated in a number of armed robberies and, while on parole in Christchurch in the late 1990s, he was asked to kill a woman on behalf of her husband.

Police heard this from bugging his phones in relation to a series of armed robberies.

Beri said he never had any intention of carrying out the request. No one was charged because the police evidence was ruled inadmissible.

Beri's niece, Kylie Beri, said the book, Here I Go Again - An Occupational Hazard, detailed the Aulsebrooks robbery.

It also contained details of his life as a criminal, which included crimes he was never suspected of, and observations about people he had met in jail such as the Bassett Rd machine gun killer, Ron Jorgensen.

Beri was charged with the Aulsebrooks robbery but the case was thrown out before the jury retired.

Aulsebrooks pay clerk Phil Brown said he was attacked by two men in balaclavas shortly after midnight on December 24, 1969. Brown, who played rugby league with Beri, was suspected of being in on the robbery. Police believed it was staged.

Brown would later go on to become involved in the massage parlour scene and published one of New Zealand's first men's magazines, Jetset.

He committed suicide in the late 1990s while being investigated by police for stupefying and filming teenage girls in sex acts.

Beri named names in the book but some of those had been changed for legal reasons, Kylie Beri said.