3 Jun 2010

Opinion divided over killer's sentence

6:54 pm on 3 June 2010

Opinion in Rotorua is divided over the prison sentence for councillor and principal Hawea Vercoe's killer.

Waatea News reports Isaiah Tai, 21, an orchard worker was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison in the High Court at Rotorua on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council member and Rotoiti Kura Kaupapa principal in an assault outside a Whakatane bar last November.

Ngati Pikiao kaumatua Toby Curtis says many in the iwi may be dismayed at the short sentence, but it could give Tai a chance to turn his life around.