A young man recently granted citizenship after being adopted by his Auckland-based aunt will now spend the better part of his first decade as a Kiwi behind bars after being convicted of two rapes.

Best Nzohabana, 22, appeared for sentencing this morning in the High Court at Auckland after pleading guilty to six charges, including the kidnappings and rapes of two prostitutes.

Justice Paul Davison jailed the East African man for a total of 10 years and three months and also imposed a minimum period of imprisonment of five years.

The court heard Nzohabana grew up in Burundi, which borders Tanzania, and endured the "dangers and lifestyles" of the African nation where he saw his father strangled to death in the street.

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After living alone in Africa for a year, Nzohabana was adopted by his aunt living in Auckland about three years ago and eventually granted New Zealand citizenship.

However, the court heard Nzohabana found it difficult to assimilate into Kiwi culture, despite working at a bar, burger joint and supermarket.

He developed issues of loneliness, which saw him frequent massage parlours, his counsel Shane Tait said.

The openness of New Zealand's sexual culture was also "somewhat different to that back home" including the legality of prostitution, Tait said.

As a result, Tait told the court, his client developed a sex addiction and began engaging sex workers with increasing frequency.

Nzohabana's first rape victim was contacted by him in September last year, the court heard.

After driving to an ATM to withdraw $200, Nzohabana paid the woman and had consensual sex at his Avondale home.

However, after impotency issues, a disagreement arose over whether Nzohabana should pay in full.

He reached into a nearby drawer and unveiled a large kitchen knife, the court heard.

Threatening her with the knife, he then raped her.

The woman begged Nzohabana to allow her to leave because she had a young child, but he told her if she told anyone of the attack he would kill her baby as she watched before killing her too.

Nzohabana also took photo of the woman's face before she left.

He met his second victim at his West Auckland home the next day.

After seeing the house, the woman was reluctant to enter but Nzohabana came out wielding the kitchen knife - forcing her into his home.

Once inside, he stabbed the knife into a mattress lying on the floor and began slapping and kicking the woman before raping her.

Nzohabana also took photos of the woman as he had with his first victim, the court heard.

The then 21-year-old demanded the woman transfer $2000 into his back account and said he "had cut up three girls before" and "was so strong he could kill".

However, a taxi soon arrived that a friend of the woman's had pre-ordered, allowing her to escape.

Her passport and $50 was stolen by Nzohabana, who also threatened to kill her if she told police.

But the woman did come forward to police and Nzohabana was arrested soon after. The court heard his confessions started in the patrol car before he later told police of his guilt in an interview.

Justice Davison told Nzohabana "It's clear you would have severely traumatised [your victims]" but was not satisfied preventative detention was required for the first-time offender.

The two women did not wish to make an victim impact statement, while a pre-sentence report indicated Nzohabana "isn't a particular good candidate for rehabilitation".

Tait said Nzohabana will likely return to Burundi upon his release.