A 34-year-old man who killed his older brother with a butcher's knife has been jailed for life.
Peter James Te Maru had denied murdering Marino Te Maru at Snells Beach but was found guilty at a jury trial held earlier this year.
Today at his sentencing at the High Court in Auckland, their mother Susan Te Maru said her mokopuna had been left without fathers.
Whatever sentence was handed down to the 34-year-old would be felt by the entire family, the court heard.
"You are ours and always will be," she said.
Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield said the two tight brothers were both loved by their family.
"There can be no doubt this is a tragedy," he said.
"In my submission, there is room in any sentencing for an element of mercy."
It was a moment of rage, fuelled by alcohol, that led to a tragedy nobody thought would happen if they were sober, he said.
"The family has lost in effect two sons."
Mansfield tried to displace the mandatory life imprisonment sentence as manifestly unjust.
However, Crown submissions maintained that the sentence was required by law.
Crown prosecutor Alysha McClintock said the case did not reach the "very high threshold" where it would be manifestly unjust to impose the sentence Parliament presumed would be applied.
Justice Sally Fitzgerald said tension between the pair was over personal matters and dated back years.
On February 10, 2019, a physical scuffle that started in the car escalated later at home, with punches thrown by both on the grass verge outside.
Marino then picked up a concrete block and started smashing the windows of his younger brother's car.
Peter struck him with a metal knife sharpener, causing lacerations on his back.
When Marino kept smashing the car, Peter went inside and grabbed a butcher's knife.
One witness said when he returned Marino was apologising and seemed to be trying to calm things down, the court heard.
However, Peter stabbed his brother in the chest causing an 11cm deep wound that pierced his heart.
In a later police interview, he said he not recall this moment and only intended to scare him.
The court heard, he immediately threw the knife down on the grass and tried to help his dying brother.
Further efforts to resuscitate him made by others were unsuccessful.
Peter walked down the street where a family member joined him and they waited together until police arrived, the court heard.
A blood test taken some hours after the stabbing, showed the defendant had 13 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in his system.
This is lower than the threshold for legally driving in New Zealand.
"While it is likely your alcohol level was higher than this at the time of the stabbing, there was no suggestion that you were so intoxicated to the point you could not act of your own volition," Justice Fitzgerald said.
In sentencing, the judge considered the complex relationship between the brothers and the factors personal to the defendant.
"Your grandparents raised you in South Auckland and while then you may have preferred to be with your immediate family, you now believe it was the best thing for you," she said.
After the death of his grandmother, Peter moved to the Hokianga area in Northland where he enjoyed hunting and fishing.
He excelled in rugby, later playing representative rugby for the region.
At 18, he joined family in Queensland with the hope of making a career in rugby league but recurring injuries meant this was not to be.
He was deported back to New Zealand in 2017 due to convictions in Australia.
The court heard he had always managed to maintain steady employment.
While the defendant believed he was guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, the judge did not believe this detracted from his remorse.
"You are clearly aware that the consequences of what happened are felt by not only you, but also your family," Justice Fitzgerald said.
"The insight you show into the factors which contributed to your offending is encouraging, as is your obvious willingness to address them."
Justice Fitzgerald said the 34-year-old man was genuinely remorseful and had good rehabilitation prospects, before handing down the life sentence.
Peter Te Maru was given a minimum non-parole period of 10 years, with the judge saying it may well be that after that time the Parole Board could release him.
"In those circumstances, you will still be a relatively young man and able to make a valuable contribution to society."