An attempt by Kawerau siege shooter Rhys Warren to have his conviction overturned on the basis of Maori sovereignty has been dismissed.

Warren sought leave to appeal from the Supreme Court on the basis that New Zealand courts had no jurisdiction over him, and he was a different person from the "legal fiction" of Rhys Warren.

The judges, Chief Justice Sian Elias, Justice William Young and Justice Mark O'Regan, noted that the Maori sovereignty argument had been heard many times before - including from Warren.

"The proposed jurisdictional argument based on Maori sovereignty was also made in his application for leave to appeal against the earlier High Court judgment and was described by this Court as having no prospect of success," the judgment read.


"Nothing has changed in the nine months since that decision was delivered to change the argument's prospects of success."

Warren appealed as "Te Tangata Whenua (as third party and personal representative of Rhys Richard (Ngahiwi) Warren)", claiming that he was not "a legal fiction the deceased estate Rhys Warren".

"The proposed argument that as Te Tangata Whenua he is not the same person as Rhys Warren also has no prospect of success," the judges ruled.

Rhys Warren leaving the scene of the Kawerau siege last year in an unmarked police car. Photo / File
Rhys Warren leaving the scene of the Kawerau siege last year in an unmarked police car. Photo / File

Warren was found guilty of attempted murder and other charges relating to the siege and shooting of four police officers in Kawerau in March last year.

In August, he was sentenced to preventative detention for shooting at Sergeant Logan Marsh and Constables Regan Mauheni, Damian White and Andrew Finn as they entered his rural property near Kawerau, intending to remove cannabis plants.

One of the officers was hit in the head, the bullet splitting his skull.

Warren then barricaded himself in the Onepu Springs Rd home during a 22-hour stand-off with police. He admitted firing shots but said it was in self-defence.

Eventually, Warren was coerced into giving himself up after talking with Inspector Warwick Morehu, who knew Warren's family.

The Kawerau siege. Photo / File
The Kawerau siege. Photo / File

Warren represented himself during the trial, telling the court he feared he was fighting for his life when the armed officers entered the house.

He was found guilty of two charges of attempted murder, three of using a firearm against a law enforcement officer and one of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The Supreme Court justices ruled that Warren had no basis for appeal.

"It raises no matter of public importance and there is no appearance of a miscarriage of justice.

"In addition, there is nothing about the proposed appeal that suggests any exceptional circumstances arise."