A Rotorua man was jailed for more than seven years today for his role in the armed robbery of a bar two years ago.

Seasonal worker Kevin Taramoeroa, 34, was sentenced in Rotorua District Court today by Judge James Weir, who noted that while Taramoeroa claimed he had been raised by the Tribesmen gang, he now appeared to be more closely associated with the Killer Bees.

As Taramoeroa left the dock he yelled out "Killer Bees", flashing the gang's recognised hand sign.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery of Jay's Place Bar in Rotorua's suburban Western Heights on September 24, 2009.


Outlining Taramoeroa's offending, Judge Weir said he had gone to the bar with two associates, one who was carrying a loaded sawn-off shotgun.

Their faces were covered and they wore latex gloves to mask their identities.

Taramoeroa yelled at a staff member to empty the cash register into a bag then demanded to know where the safe was, ordering her to open it.

"You told her if she didn't know the [combination] number she would be sorry," Judge Weir said.

The group had made off with $11,000, none of which had been recovered, but the sawn- off shotgun had been found in a pillow case under Taramoeroa's bed.

The judge said the woman held at gunpoint had been petrified, she suffered from flashbacks and it took her a long time to return to her former workplace to see her colleagues.

She was now on anti-depressants and seeing a psychologist. As her family's sole income earner she was no longer able to work, going from a decent wage to barely existing on ACC.

Judge Weir noted Taramoeroa had already served a three-year jail term for aggravated robbery, saying he took that into account when sentencing him to seven years and two months.