The police officer in charge of the homicide inquiry into an execution-style shooting of David Rawiri Kuka says he's determined to find his killer with the public's help.

Detective Inspector Lew Warner said after extensive inquiries over the past three months it is now believed the 52-year-old's "murder was a case of mistaken identity".

Warner said police believed Kuka, who was shot at his Gate Pa home on February 11, was not the intended victim.

Kuka was found with a serious head injury at his Wilrose Place home that night and died soon after emergency services arrived.


Emergency services were called about 10.40pm and he was pronounced dead at 11.15pm.

"Sadly Mr Kuka was shot execution-style, and we believe this was a premeditated and cowardly act," Warner said.

"Our extensive inquiries found there was no reason for David to have been targeted in this way," the officer told the Bay of Plenty Times last night.

"We know that David was a quiet man, who kept mainly to himself, working at a shop on occasion and carving items for family and friends," he said.

Warner said he was not prepared to reveal the exact weapon used or more details about the execution-style murder.

Police were keeping an open mind as to whether more than one offender was involved in his killing, he said.

Warner said police are appealing for further information about Kuka's death.

"I believe that the community can help us get answers for his family. Someone will know something and can help us bring his family some sense of closure."


Police are also keen for information about a silver vehicle seen in the area on the night of the shooting around the relevant time.

Warner said the silver vehicle might not be linked to Kuka's murder, but it was vital people come forward with any information to establish any possible link.

'We are determined to find Mr Kuka's killer and do our best for David's family, who are still struggling to cope, and desperately want answers, as we do," he said.

"We have a team of 30 officers still working on the inquiry which shows how determined we are to find David's killer and we will keep investigating as long as it takes to do that.

Police are supporting Kuka's family, Warner said.

People with information can ring Tauranga police on 07 577 4300 or call Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.