Officer shot in Kawerau siege fell 'like a kauri tree'

A police officer has described how he couldn't see because his eyes were full of blood after he was hit with shrapnel during a siege in Kawerau last year.

Rhys Warren, 28, is on trial at Hamilton's High Court accused of wounding four police officers during the 22-hour armed standoff.

Constable Regan Mauheni was hit in the head by shrapnel during the shootout, putting him in hospital for weeks - and off work for more than five months.

"My eyes were full of blood. I knew it was bad but not how bad at the time," he told the court on Monday.

Four police officers used sledgehammers to enter the house where Rhys Warren was holed up.

Mr Mauheni's colleague Martyn Roe recalled entering the hallway and hearing a loud bang.

He told the court he saw Mr Mauheni fall "like kauri tree", with a large amount of blood on his face and he feared the worst.

At that point the siege became a rescue mission and the officers opened fire to provide cover.

"I've got my head down dragging Regan, who I thought was dead. So I want my teammates to save my life as I'm saving another," Mr Roe said.

"[Mr Mauheni]'s become a person who can't look after himself, basically. He's gone from a huge stature of a man to someone who's totally dependent on us."

The siege began when a shot was fired while police tried to remove cannabis plants near the house at Otakiri.

Warren, who is defending himself in court, says the police had acted threateningly when they threw rocks on his roof and smashed windows.

Late Monday afternoon he began to cross-examine the man he allegedly shot and told him: "I hope you are recovering well from your injuries."

He'll continue to question him tomorrow.