A Northlander accused of murdering a man who was out shooting possums at night tried to pull him out of his vehicle while attempting to wrench a slug gun off the man, a witness has told a jury.

Paul Edward Harris, 51, is on trial in the High Court at Whangarei having pleaded not guilty to the murder of Joseph Rowland Keogh near Kaitaia on April 11, last year.

The female witness, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave evidence through CCTV and said Harris drove his quad bike next to where Mr Keogh's Mitsubishi Pajero was on Fisher-Riley Rd.

She heard Harris say he was going to get the Pajero's registration number and call police.


Harris then hopped off his quad bike and walked in front of the Pajero before walking back to his quad bike, she said.

The witness said a slug gun Mr Keogh had was not loaded when he showed the weapon to Harris.

She said Harris tried to wrench the slug gun off Mr Keogh by grabbing him under his armpit and pulling him out of his Pajero.

Mr Keogh's legs, she said, were in the vehicle, but she did not know what happened next until she heard the quad bike start.

Mr Keogh climbed out of his vehicle through a window, ran over to the quad bike and pushed it, she told the jury.

Harris then spoke to him in an "angry voice", she said.

When asked by defence lawyer Arthur Fairley whether she heard Harris say to Mr Keogh words to the effect, "Don't shoot on my property, on or around the road ... or I am going to call the cops", the witness replied "no".

She also said she did not hear Mr Keogh say to Harris, "I can shoot possums; I've been living here longer than you have", as put to her by Mr Fairley.

On whether Mr Keogh got very angry after Harris said he would call police, the witness said she could not remember.

The Crown case is Harris stabbed Mr Keogh with a knife while both men were wrestling with the gun.

Mr Keogh was rushed to Kaitaia Hospital in an unconscious and unresponsive state and died later that evening.

The knife, which has never been found, went 10-15cm into his body and through his heart.

The trial continues.