Two people are on trial accused of kidnapping and murdering a 17-year-old girl in South Auckland last year.

Warning: This story contains graphic and violent content.

A teenage girl's body was found inside a rusty steel drum amongst weeds at an abandoned Auckland state home.

Seventeen-year-old Dimetrius Pairama had earlier been given the chilling choice of how she wanted to die, the High Court at Auckland heard today.

"There is no doubt that there was a murder, there is no doubt as to the injuries to the deceased," Justice Timothy Brewer told the court.

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The teen's body was found in a vacant Housing New Zealand property on Buckland Rd, Mangere Bridge on July 8 last year.

Kerry Te Amo and Ashley Winter are accused of murdering Dimetrius Pairama. Photos / Sam Hurley
Kerry Te Amo and Ashley Winter are accused of murdering Dimetrius Pairama. Photos / Sam Hurley

Before her death she had been kidnapped and tortured, the Crown Solicitor at Manukau Natalie Walker told the court.

She was beaten, tied to a chair, gagged and her naked body burned with an aerosol can and cigarette lighter, Walker said.

Pairama was then "presented with a chilling choice".

She was asked how she wanted to die.

"Death by hanging or stabbing?" Walker said Pairama was asked.

She was then strung up from a pole with a makeshift noose made out of old sheets, the court heard.

Her battered, naked and lifeless body was then cut down and wrapped in the sheets and plastic.

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"Her body was hidden inside a rusty steel drum, amongst some weeds, at an abandoned state home," Walker said.

"How did this happen?"

Dimetrius Pairama's body was found in a vacant house in South Auckland. Photo / Supplied
Dimetrius Pairama's body was found in a vacant house in South Auckland. Photo / Supplied

Ashley Winter, also known as Toko Shane Rei Winter, 29, and Kerry Te Amo, 25, are accused of kidnapping, torturing and murdering Pairama.

Their trial began today.

Winter, a transgender woman, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping but denies murdering Pairama.

Te Amo has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Walker said the pair had carried out a "senseless and unimaginable attack" which had taken away Pairama's will to live and presented her with an impossible choice.

Police investigate the home in Mangere where 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama was found. Photo / Doug Sherring
Police investigate the home in Mangere where 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama was found. Photo / Doug Sherring

But she said "sometimes we can never know why things happen".

Another teenager, who has been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for giving evidence, will tell the court what she saw and heard at the Buckland Rd home, Walker said.

Police first began investigating after breaking up a fight near Britomart in central Auckland.

Walker said the group who were at the house had turned on each other.

"You'll pay for what you've done!" Winter was told, the court heard.

Ashley Winter, pictured in the dock on day one of her trial in the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Sam Hurley
Ashley Winter, pictured in the dock on day one of her trial in the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Sam Hurley

Walker said police would soon discover the "whole horrifying truth" about how Pairama, who had spent time in Oranga Tamariki care, was killed.

The prosecutor said Winter has since "told countless lies" to police.

The court heard Winter has, at various points, claimed she was Pairama's sister, admitted she played a part in the killing, said there was no ringleader, and that she had a reason to be angry at the teen.

Pairama was described by those her knew her as a "bubbly, pretty and very friendly" girl who had a distinctive laugh, the court heard.

Her life goal, Walker said, was getting a qualification and enough money to buy a house.

Justice Brewer earlier told the jury in a case such as this it may be "easy to feel prejudice against people who have been brought to court for charges like these".

But he said this was "not a court of morals, it is a court of law".

Kerry Te Amo is one of two people accused of murdering 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama. Photo / Sam Hurley
Kerry Te Amo is one of two people accused of murdering 17-year-old Dimetrius Pairama. Photo / Sam Hurley

The judge urged the jury to decide on what the Crown has proved before considering their verdicts.

"In deciding what happened you are going to have to make human assessments … some people can be honest and some can be honestly mistaken," Justice Brewer said.

"You must keep an open mind until you have heard all of the evidence, the lawyers' closing arguments and my summing up.

The judge said: "Above all Mr Foreman and members of the jury, your job is to be fair."