A Rotorua man who bludgeoned his friend of 20 years to death over owed money told police he "signed his own death warrant for not paying his tick".

Hughie Ransfield, 59, pleaded guilty to murdering Maui Haukamau and was convicted in the High Court at Rotorua last month.

Details of the murder have been revealed in the summary of facts, obtained by the Rotorua Daily Post today.

On the afternoon of May 20, 2020, Ransfield went to Haukamau's house. The pair bought a box of beer and some cannabis before returning to Ransfield's home on Te Ngae Rd.


By 4pm, after the pair had drunk about half a box of beer each, Ransfield asked Haukamau about some money Ransfield believed his friend owed.

According to Ransfield, Haukamau laughed and told him to "get f*****", enraging Ransfield.

Ransfield grabbed a nearby piece of metal pipe and struck Haukamau in the head multiple times, "as hard as he could", the summary states.

"The ferocity of the defendant's blows caused the metal pipe to break in two.

"The defendant continued to strike the deceased's head with the remaining half of the metal pipe to ensure the deceased didn't get up."

According to the summary, Ransfield then called emergency services, requesting ambulance and police. He said he had "bashed his friend" and that he thought he had killed him.

"It was apparent to the first attending emergency services that the deceased had suffered fatal head wounds that were not compatible with life."

Haukamau suffered significant blunt force trauma to the back of his head. The blows fractured the skull and lacerated the dura, and caused extensive subdural and subarachnoid haemorrhage.


In explanation of the attack, Ransfield told police he became angry at Haukamau for telling him to "get f*****" and that Haukamau "signed his own death warrant for not paying his tick", which he said was about $3500.

"The defendant acknowledged that he kept hitting the deceased until he couldn't get up and until he stopped moving.

"When asked how hard the blows were on a scale of one to 10, the defendant stated that the blows were a 10, being as hard as he could hit the deceased with the metal pole."

Ransfield will be sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua on August 19.