Ngawiki Raupita missed a phone call from her brother on the night he was hit by a car and killed on Te Ngae Rd. She says he was drunk and would have wanted a ride home, but instead tried to walk. As a coroner's ruling into Riko Porter's death is released, journalist Kelly Makiha talks to his sister, who has a strong message to people about the dangers of alcohol.
Some days Ngawiki Raupita just disappears.
You'll find her sitting in her car on Te Ngae Rd near Rotorua Airport staring at the spot where her brother was killed nearly two years ago and having a cry.
She will always wonder what would have happened if she had not missed a phone call from him on the night he died while drinking at a friend's house.
Not long after his call, he walked along Te Ngae Rd, possibly trying to get to his Ōhinemutu home, and was hit by a car and killed.
A coroner has recently released the findings into the death of Riko Porter, 52, from Rotorua. It was found that Porter died from a traumatic brain injury while intoxicated after being hit by a car after 11.30pm on November 28, 2018.
Coroner Gordon Matenga's finding, which has just been released to the Rotorua Daily Post, said Porter was found to have a blood reading of 206mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, a "very high" reading that was four times the legal driving limit.
He said alcohol was a factor in the death as it impaired Porter's judgment of the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle, a Ford Ranger, was a woman heading south on Te Ngae Rd. She was travelling from Ōpōtiki to Wellington with her 2-year-old daughter in the back seat.
The finding said the woman told police a man "came out of nowhere" near the Rotorua Airport.
He walked out from the left side of the road in front of her vehicle.
"I braked but had no time to stop in time and hit the guy. I stopped as soon as I could and established that I had hit someone. I grabbed my phone and called 111. I didn't think he was alive and waved down the car coming towards me from town."
Porter's body was found 50m from the initial impact area.
Matenga said in his finding that "surprisingly" police did not prosecute the driver, who was driving outside her restricted driver licence conditions, it being after 10pm, and because her vehicle had been fitted with a switch that disrupted power to the speedometer and ABS braking system that increased braking distances.
The finding said because the speedometer was not functioning, it was "rorting" the road-user licensing fees for diesel vehicles.
Matenga said the fact police didn't charge the driver was a matter entirely for them and no further comment would be made.
Raupita said she didn't blame the driver as her brother was drunk and there was nothing she could have done.
She said Porter, who was seven years younger than her, had been living with her for two years after separating from his wife in Australia. Porter had 10 children aged under 19 and was saving to move back to Australia, which he called home having spent most of his life living there.
She said on the night of his death she was on the phone to their other brother and missed his call.
"I'm still in that stage of trying to let it go ... He would have wanted a ride home and I forever think about that ... That damn phone call. I wish I could have said 'just sit down and stay there. I will come get you'."
Raupita said she had had her time being a "drinker" but was now anti-alcohol.
"When you drink too much, you start to roam and you get out of your comfort zone. If you're going to have a drink, stay within your boundaries and drink moderately because I know the harm drinking can do, it can kill you ... Alcohol is not the go."
She said her brother was a loving and "godly" man who despite being "mischief" at times, had a big heart and would help feed the city's homeless most days with his friend Percy Poharama.
Poharama, who runs Feeding Rotorua's People, said Porter was one of his group who cooked food at either his house or Raupita's and took meals to between 80 and 100 "streeties" at night.
"I'd spend hours with him and he even lived with us for a while. Everyone knew who he was and he was a big part of our team."
Poharama said Porter would take his truck and drive to places like Ōpōtiki to pick up meat from friends who had gone hunting to feed the homeless.
"My wife rang me at work and told me when he died and I was just blindsided. He's terribly missed."