When Jared Renata Te Moana set the van involved in a manslaughter on fire, he made a complete investigation impossible, says the judge who sentenced him to 15 months' imprisonment.

Te Moana, 34, was sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua yesterday on a charge of accessory to manslaughter after the fact.

The charge relates to an incident in Waihau Bay south of Ōpōtiki on November 26, 2016, the day of multiple significant events which saw Mongrel Mob and Tribesmen gang members in town.

Earlier in the day, Mongrel Mob members and the Tribesman motorcyclists had agreed the Tribesmen would remove their gang regalia.


Tribesman gang members Don Henry Turei Jnr, 38, and his brother weren't aware of the arrangement and drove past a Mongrel Mob pad on the way to the wedding reception.

They were pursued by Andre Robert Taiapa who accelerated a van into the back of Turei's bike, knocking him off, according to the summary.

Turei died on State Highway 35 near Raukokore Marae and earlier in May Taiapa pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He will be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua next month.

After Turei's death, Te Moana and Taiapa took the vehicle to a concealed location and stripped it of identifying features.

At 10pm, Te Moana and another man drove the van to the banks of the Raukokore River and set it alight.

"Prior to heading down to the river, the defendant Te Moana acknowledged the vehicle had been used in the murder of the deceased and was to be destroyed," the summary said.

"The vehicle was completely destroyed by the fire when it was located by police in the following days."

At Te Moana's sentencing today Justice Matthew Downs said his actions had "made a complete investigation impossible" and Te Moana had not demonstrated remorse.


"Destroying evidence after someone's life has been criminally taken is a serious offence."

Te Moana's lawyer Max Simpkins and the Crown lawyer Sam Davison agreed the 15-month sentence was suitable.