Was Warren Uata Kiwi the gunman hired to shoot at Karl Andres Nyman with the intention of killing him 17 years ago or was it his dead brother?

That's what the jury trying Tauranga man Kiwi, 58, is grappling with in the High Court at Rotorua.

When the trial opened last Wednesday Kiwi denied he attempted to murder Nyman outside his Ōwhata, Rotorua home in the early hours of July 31, 2002, or that he'd conspired with others to murder him.

Prosecutor Chris Macklin opened the Crown's case by indicating the confrontation between Nyman and Kiwi appeared to be related to a dispute over whanau land.

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In his closing address today Macklin said the questions the jury had to grapple with were "who" and "why"? The "who" applied to Kiwi and the "why" was for what reason did he want to kill Nyman.

"The key to this is that he [Kiwi] pulled the trigger," Macklin said.

He urged jurors not to speculate beyond the evidence they had heard and reminded them Kiwi had been inaccurate when questioned by him about his previous convictions. "You might wonder what other inaccuracies he's told the court."

He emphasised Kiwi twice said he was the person who shot at Nyman, once to his cousin and once to the police.

Macklin claimed Kiwi knew details of the shooting only "the assailant" would know, saying this was something the jury had to be really careful about when considering Kiwi's account that his late brother told him.

"Did he intend to kill someone?, the Crown says yes." Macklin said it was also contended Kiwi had been involved in the conspiracy that led to the shooting.

Defence lawyer, Gene Tomlinson, took issue with that saying it was clear while there had been a discussion between at least two people about killing Nyman the jury had to be sure that conversation included Kiwi.

He suggested the story of what occurred at the time of the shooting had grown with the telling over the years, saying this raised the question of how the Crown's evidence could be relied on, arguing it couldn't be.

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He reiterated there hadn't been any trace of blood or DNA at the shooting scene.

He pointed to two accounts Kiwi gave police in a DVD interview before and after an eight-minute break with the camera off, saying they were in complete contradiction. Initially, Kiwi claimed he wasn't involved in the shooting then after the hiatus that he was.

"This means one can't be right, it's your task to decide which to accept. You have to be sure when the rifle was aimed it was with the intention of killing Mr Nyman, even is you are sure Mr Kiwi was there but can't be sure he intended to kill Mr Nyman you must acquit."

Turning to the conspiracy to murder charge, Tomlinson said there was no evidence Kiwi had agreed with anyone else to commit a murder.

He urged that the only proper verdicts for both charges were those of not guilty.

The jury was discharged for the night yesterday and will resume its deliberations today.