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'Gang overtones': Terrified occupants saw taser sparking in the dark as trio tried to break in

Ric Stevens,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Mar 2024, 3:18PM
The attackers were all members or associates of the Black Power gang. Photo / NZME
The attackers were all members or associates of the Black Power gang. Photo / NZME

'Gang overtones': Terrified occupants saw taser sparking in the dark as trio tried to break in

Ric Stevens,
Publish Date
Sun, 24 Mar 2024, 3:18PM

The besieged occupants of a Hastings house could see and hear a home-made taser sparking in the dark as three armed gang associates rattled the doors and windows, trying to get in.

“If they had got inside, I’m not sure what would have happened,” Judge Richard Earwaker said on Friday when he sent them all to prison.

One of the trio, Ivory Makea, was armed with a hammer and found a kitchen window that had been left partially open when the occupants – two men and a woman – locked themselves in the house.

He was deterred by one of the victims, their primary target, who brought an aluminium bat crashing down onto a benchtop so hard that the noise was picked up by CCTV cameras outside.

Makea, Lindsay Paul Herewini and Daniel Darren Teo Haere appeared together in the Napier District Court to be sentenced for aggravated burglary.

“I am clear that the intention was to get into the house if you could,” Judge Earwaker said.

“I am satisfied that you were all part of a common plan to extract money or drugs [from the victim].”

The court was told that the primary victim had recently sold a house and people knew he had money.

Makea, Herewini and Teo Haere, all associated with the Black Power gang, went to the property in the Hastings suburb of Akina about 8.45pm on November 22, 2022.

The other male occupant told them that the man they were looking for was asleep. The gang associates said they would be back later with more people.

They returned at 10.17pm, by which time the occupants had locked the property down and were watching them via CCTV cameras covering the outside of the house.

The three men were armed. Makea had the hammer; Herewini had the homemade taser; Teo Haere was carrying a craft knife and a long, baton-like torch.

Judge Earwaker said the house occupants could see and hear the taser arcing.

“Clearly there has been real fear in the victims and I am satisfied that was the intent – to instil fear,” Judge Earwaker said.

He said the community was concerned about these types of offences happening “far too often”, and with gang overtones.

The attackers did not get into the house, and left empty-handed when they were told that police had been called and were on the way.

Judge Earwaker said that the primary victim had since moved away and was “still hiding” in fear of retaliation.

Makea, who pleaded guilty to the aggravated burglary charge and went through a restorative justice process with the victim, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

He received lesser concurrent sentences for unrelated offences – breach of bail, breach of community work, unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle and receiving a motor vehicle.

Herewini and Teo Haere, who were found guilty by a jury after contesting the aggravated burglary charge, were both sent to prison for 35 and a half months.

Judge Earwaker said the stress and fear of the victims had been evident when they gave evidence at the trial.

The judge said he and the jury had both rejected an explanation from Herewini that the visit to the house had been motivated by concern about a Black Power associate selling drugs in a Mongrel Mob area, putting other people in danger.

He also said the actions of the three might have been moderated by the presence of an older man in blue overalls who was seen on the CCTV video standing and watching what was going on.

That man was thought to be a senior Black Power member who had been contacted by one of the occupants between the two visits.

Under the Crimes Act, a burglary is committed when any part of the burglar’s body, or any part of an implement being used, enters a building.

Judge Earwaker said there was no distinction between Makea trying to get in the kitchen window and the other two – they were “all part of a common plan”.

Ric Stevens spent many years working for the former New Zealand Press Association news agency, including as a political reporter at Parliament, before holding senior positions at various daily newspapers. He joined NZME's Open Justice team in 2022 and is based in Hawke's Bay. His writing in the crime and justice sphere is informed by four years of front-line experience as a probation officer.





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