The man who murdered 17-year-old Te Awhiahua Toko has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum period of 16 years.

In April this year Paul Skipper stabbed the teenager three times in the neck with a butcher's boning knife in Lower Hutt.

She later died in hospital. Skipper pleaded guilty to murdering her.

Justice Karen Clark handed down Skipper's sentence at the High Court at Wellington this


She said Toko was a vulnerable person Skipper was meant to be taking responsibility for, instead he created an environment of fear.

Toko's mother told the court she has endured the most traumatic time in her life.

Teisha Paratene opened submissions with her victim impact statement.

"I got a phone call that no mother should ever get. I had no idea what had happened to my baby," she said.

Paratene told the court how she rushed to hospital to see Toko but it was hours before anyone would tell her the circumstances around the attack on her daughter.

Paratene described the experience as the most traumatic in her life.

"I have been on an emotional rollercoaster since the incident leading me to seek counselling."

She broke down as she told the court how she would never see her daughter walk down the aisle, she would never celebrate her 21st birthday with her and she would never see her have her first child.

"She doesn't get to live out her dreams and aspirations," Paratene said.