Winders trial: Witness describes Jeep's odd driving

George Taiaroa (file)
George Taiaroa (file)

A farmer has described the strange behaviour of a Jeep driver on the day George Taiaroa was shot dead.

Quinton Winders is on trial at the High Court in Rotorua charged with the road worker's 2013 murder.

Atiamuri farmer Andrew Parker recalled how he'd been driving his tractor home that afternoon when he saw a Jeep parked awkwardly on Ongaroto Rd. He described it as a dark forest-green colour.

"It was sort of sticking out just before the bend and it stood out from a long, long away, and I thought it was strange to park there."

Mr Parker says he carried on his journey and got distracted by a bulldozer clearing some forest, causing him to drift across the centre-line.

He says his immediate reaction was to look in his mirrors, and that's when he noticed the same Jeep approaching.

He told the court he dropped his speed to about 40-45km/h and pulled right over to allow the Jeep to pass, but it then dropped back and wouldn't overtake him.

Mr Parker says after about half-a-minute to a minute he though "stuff this" and planted his foot on the accelerator.

He says both vehicles turned down Tram Rd - where Mr Taiaroa was later shot - but he then lost sight of it.

Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Jonathan Temm asked Mr Parker if he heard any sound like a gunshot.

Mr Parker says he didn't, pointing out he was driving a loud tractor and had his "music blasting".

Mr Temm also asked Mr Parker if he was sure the Jeep he'd seen was green, as the speculation at the time centred on a blue Jeep.

He confirmed the Jeep he saw was green.

Earlier this week, the court has heard from one of Mr Taiaroa's workmates and other witnesses to his shooting.