It was Warren Uata Kiwi who pulled the trigger of a gun in an attempt to murder Karl Andres Nyman close to two decades ago, a jury has decided.

It has also found the 58-year-old Tauranga man guilty of conspiring with others to murder Nyman.

The verdicts were delivered in the High Court at Rotorua this afternoon after eight-and-a-half hours of deliberations.

Justice Pheroze Jagose convicted Kiwi and remanded him in custody until October 18, when he will be sentenced.

He thanked jurors for their attention to the trial and wished them well.

The basis of the Crown's case was that Kiwi was contracted by at least one other person to kill Nyman in a dispute over whānau land "down the coast" for a fee of 5lbs (2.3kgs) of cannabis.

Advertisement

The defence was it was not Kiwi but his late brother Graeme, who died while serving a lengthy prison term, who pulled the trigger as he wrestled with Nyman at his home in the Rotorua suburb of Owhata in the early hours of July 31, 2002.

When the gun went off Nyman was shot in the bicep. The jury heard the two had fought for possession of the .22 rifle, after the shot was fired into him, Nyman forced the shooter down his driveway, banging his head against the grille of his Kenworth truck a number of times.

The gunman ran off and it wasn't until 2018 when police received a tip-off that it was Warren Kiwi who was responsible for the shooting that he was taken in for questioning.

After the jury retired to consider its verdict on Tuesday, they asked to have a DVD recording replayed to them of an interview Rotorua detective Mahora Alcock conducted with Kiwi at the Tauranga police station.

The recording was punctuated by an eight-minute pause. Before that Kiwi had strenuously denied any involvement in the July 31, 2002 shooting, laying the blame on his late brother.

When the video resumed Kiwi said "I will tell you what happened, okay I did it, I must admit it was me."

However, he claimed in evidence given at the trial that the confession was false, that he'd been pressured by police into making it on the promise he'd be free to return to is family if he admitted he'd been the shooter.

"My family are my life," he testified.

Advertisement

His evidence was that he had been told the intended target was Māori but when he discovered he was Pākehā he took off.