Quinton Winders' father was accused by police of "masterminding" stop-go worker George Taiaroa's murder, a court has heard.

Max Winders was called to the witness stand today in the trial of his 45-year-old son who is facing one charge of murder for the death of Taiaroa.

Taiaroa, 65, was shot dead while operating a stop-go sign at roadworks in Atiamuri, north of Taupo, in 2013.

During cross-examination by defence counsel Jonathan Temm, Winders spoke of the interview he had with police, during which he was accused of being involved in Taiaroa's death.


The interview was held after police conducted a second search warrant at Mr Winders' Ngongotaha home on April 18, 2013.

"I opened the front door and found myself looking down the barrel of a machine gun," Winders said.

"I offered to help them find what they were looking for but they wouldn't tell me. I even told them there was rat poison in the ceiling.

Winders was then escorted off his property and taken to the police station.

"After my full co-operation... they came back and accused me of masterminding the murder of George Taiaroa. I said 'listen here boy, if I sent you to kill Mr Taiaroa - I didn't know his name, I didn't know what he looked like and I didn't know where he was so how could I have sent you to kill him'.

"I also said young Quin couldn't have done it either because he didn't know any more than I did."

Winders slammed his hand down on the bible in the witness stand, proclaiming he could not lie as he was under oath.

Earlier he spoke of the terrifying moment the Armed Offender's Squad showed up unannounced for the first search warrant at his Ngongotaha home.


"Three men with big machine guns were walking towards me and growing up in a war zone, my first thought was 'the Gestapo have come to get me', then I thought I must be dreaming.

"I was told by [Andy] Livingston that they had a search warrant and I said, 'go for your life'... Then I was told Quin and my wife were under arrest - I was quite shocked."

During Crown questioning, Winders was asked about the minor crash he was involved in on March 12, 2013.

It was this crash, of which the accused was a passenger, that the Crown asserts was the catalyst for Winders returning to Tram Rd and shooting Taiaroa.

"I was driving along minding my own business then Quin suddenly yelled out 'stop' so I slammed on my brakes.

"I thought I better back up... I had only moved six feet then heard a crunch. I was astonished to find a very little car behind me - out of my visibility."

Winders told Christopher Lenth, the man driving the other car, that he would take full responsibility for the crash.

Winders repeated several times there was no stop sign in operation and he never saw or spoke to Mr Taiaroa.

When asked by Crown solicitor Amanda Gordon about his conversation about insurance with William Lane, the owner of the car involved in the minor crash, Winders confirmed Taiaroa's death was brought up.

"He went on to tell me a stop-go worker had been killed... I had not heard of the murder at that stage...I presumed it was the [worker] at Atiamuri."

Gordon questioned why Winders made that presumption, to which Winders did not have a clear answer, only that he did not know about the murder but presumed it was Mr Taiaroa.

Upon discovering police were looking for a blue Jeep Cherokee, Winders told the accused to "expect to be pulled up with that vehicle".

Gordon asked what the accused's response was. Mr Winders said his son replied "oh yeah" then carried on with his work.

Winders' mother, Janet, also gave evidence today, relaying the events of April 4, 2013.

"We drove in and Quin went in [to Repco] to get what he wanted then all of a sudden I'm sitting there and I'm surrounded and being told not to move.

"Then I see Quin being handcuffed and taken to another vehicle."

Winders said it was during her interview with police that she was told Winders had confessed to killing Mr Taiaroa.

"It was Detective Helen Beck who said Quin had confessed he did it and I just said 'I don't believe you'."

Kieron O'Dwyer will be called as the next Crown witness tomorrow.