The foreman of a High Court jury trying nine men on kidnapping and other charges in Rotorua has been discharged.

This move came after he admitted ignoring Justice Timothy Brewer's instructions not to conduct online research into aspects of the case.

The trial is continuing with 11 jurors and a replacement foreman.

Meanwhile, one of the defendants, Stephen William Daly, 33, has been granted bail to attend his grandmother's tangi.


On trial with Daly are Benjamin Paul Dwyer, 28, Jordan Alexander Christian, 21, David Peter Clark, 36, Brent Anthony Gunning, 37, Liam John Kane, 24, Matthew John McDonnell, 45, Stacy Walton Dennis Paora, 29, and Sam Wiremu Rolleston, 23.

They have pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges laid either separately or jointly.

The first of a lengthy list of police witnesses gave evidence today.

The Rotorua CIB head, Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Van Kempen, said of one of the two alleged kidnap victims, described by the Crown as a wealthy businessman, identified four of the accused from photo montages.

Those he picked out were Daly, Dwyer, Kane and Clark.

He said the businessman had been shown the photographs after he'd earlier turned up at Rotorua police station on February 17 last year.

Evidence from 24 witnesses was read to the court today.

One, Detective Pieter Van Der Harst, said he'd arrested Clark and charged him with kidnapping after the armed offenders squad surrounded the Head Hunter gang's north chapter at Wellsford in March last year.

The trial continues.