Two well-known Kiwi hip-hop music producers have lost their bid to quash their convictions for raping a woman in a Tauranga motel room.

Mark Arona and Peter Chambers, both in their 40s, were jailed for eight-and-a-half years in January last year after being found guilty by a jury of sexual violation by rape and sexual violation by an unlawful sexual connection.

Chambers was found guilty of being the principal offender in the rape and Arona as a party to it by encouraging the offence.

Both men appealed their convictions and Arona also appealed the length of his prison sentence arguing the starting point was "too high" and he was less culpable than Chambers.


The Crown's case was the female victim was so grossly intoxicated she was incapable of giving proper consent and she had also smoked a puff of a cannabis cigarette.

Arona and Chambers insisted the sexual encounters were consensual and that the woman lied about her level of incapacity after she regretted her actions that night.

In a recently released Court of Appeal written judgment, the justices said they rejected the men's claims that the jury trial had been "unfair" to them.

Arona and Chambers argued they should have been allowed to lead evidence of the complainant's past sexual behaviour because that went directly towards her veracity.

Arona's lawyer, Nick Dutch, also submitted that Judge David Cameron had erred by not taking into account his client's cultural background in a "meaningful way" at sentencing.

But the Court of Appeal justices said they did not accept the jury was left with an "incomplete and unfair picture" and were satisfied there was no miscarriage of justice.

"In this case, a woman made vulnerable by gross intoxication was sexually violated by two men in an especially callous and degrading way. Those features of the offending must inevitably dominate sentencing," they said.