19 Nov 2015

Taiaroa murder-accused appears in court

12:55 pm on 19 November 2015

The man charged with the murder of roadworker George Taiaroa has made a brief appearance in the New Plymouth District Court.

Flowers and a hard hat have been placed near the site where Mr Taiaroa was killed.

Flowers and a hard hat were placed near the site where Mr Taiaroa was killed in 2013. Photo: RNZ

The 45-year-old, who has interim name suppression, was remanded in custody until next month, when a hearing will be held about transferring the case to the High Court in Rotorua.

The man was arrested at a property in Stratford, Taranaki, yesterday.

Mr Taiaroa was shot and killed while manning a stop-go sign at a road construction site at Atiamuri, north of Taupo, in March 2013.

The police officer in charge of the inquiry into the killing of Mr Taiaroa, Detective Superintendent Tim Anderson, praised the patience of his investigators.

Mr Anderson spoke briefly after the 45-year-old accused appeared in court he said his team was meticulous in their pursuit of justice for Mr Taiaroa and his family.

"These sorts of cases across New Zealand are very rare, and it has been lengthy but it really is an illustration that we never give up in these cases and we never will, they're always open and we're always looking for opportunities."

Mr Anderson thanked Mr Taiaroa's family for their understanding, and members of the public who came forward to give information.

The accused was remanded in custody and will re-appear in court next month.

His defence counsel, Susan Hughes QC, was expected to make an application this afternoon to transfer the case to the High Court in Rotorua.