A Whangamata man stabbed his friend multiple times in "a fit of rage", killing him, before "striking him fiercely" to the head with a meat cleaver as he lay dead on the floor.

Anthony Ballantyne, 63, was today jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum 10 years after being found guilty in the High Court at Hamilton of the murder of Ivan Kapluggin.

Justice Timothy Brewer told the court Ballantyne and Kapluggin were good friends and the victim had intended to stay a day or two at Ballantyne's house.

Kapluggin arrived from Thailand on February 2 and his brother David drove him from Auckland Airport to meet his friend Ballantyne at the BP service station in Waihi.


Kapluggin then went to stay with Ballantyne at his Achilles Ave home in Whangamata.
UK passport-holder Kapluggin lived two hours from Bangkok with his Thai wife. He was in New Zealand to sell a rental property he owned in Waikino.

On the night of Kapluggin's death, Ballantyne had cooked his friend a meal, which they enjoyed on the balcony of his Whangamata home.

The pair shared bottles of wine and glasses of whiskey when, for reasons that will never be known, Ballantyne became angry and, in what Justice Brewer described "a fit of rage" launched an attack on Kapluggin, stabbing him seven times in the chest, neck and back, as well as cutting his hands and face.

He then grabbed a meat cleaver and struck him "fiercely" on the head. Justice Brewer says Kapluggin was already dead by the time this blow was dealt.

Soon after Ballantyne rang 111 and "put on a display to distance yourself from what had happened and blamed others".

"There was simply no way that blame could have been attributed to anyone else but yourself."

Outside court, Kapluggin's daughter Marie Kapluggin-Holtham said the jail term was not long enough and before they knew it they would be dealing with parole hearings.