The trial of five people accused of killing Whanganui Black Power leader Craig Rippon starts on Wednesday.

Tyrone Peter Madams, 57, Kevin Roy Madams, 42, Matthew Thomas Madams, 37, a youth and a boy will appear in the High Court in Whanganui.

They are charged with murder and participating in a criminal organisation. They pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing in June.

Mr Rippon, known for his work in the community and founder of the award-winning Matipo Development Trust, which helped vulnerable families, died in hospital after an assault at a property in Rimu St, Gonville, on November 8, 2015. He was 57.


The jury trial will be before Justice Jillian Mallon and Crown prosecutor Harry Mallalieu will present the charges.

In June last year, Tyrone William Madams pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Rippon and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years.

Yesterday the family of Mr Rippon issued a statement through the police asking for privcy during the trial.

"While they acknowledge the media and public interest in this case, the family is concerned about the impact of media approaches on them at this stressful time, particularly vulnerable younger family members," the police statement said.

"This is adding to their distress at what is already a very difficult time.

"The family has asked, therefore, that media please respect their request for privacy, and refrain from contacting or approaching family members."