Quinton Winders sentenced to 17 years in jail for George Taiaroa's murder

Quinton Winders
Quinton Winders

Quinton Winders, the man who killed road worker George Taiaroa in 2013, has been sentenced to a minimum 17 years in jail.

Winders was found guilty of Mr Taiaroa's murder after a five-week trial in September.

Daughter Rochai Taiaroa told the court on Friday her dad was "perfect, but perfection can never be replaced".

"Our sentence is for life as our father will never come home," she said, reading out her victim impact statement.

"He was the centre of our lives, the love, the light... and the glue that held our family together".

The Crown alleged the shooting was revenge, with Winders blaming Mr Taiaroa for a minor crash at the work site earlier.

But the defence argued that Winders had no motive to kill Mr Taiaroa, and the case was one of mistaken identity.

Defence lawyer Jonathan Temm told the court on Friday Winders does "not accept evidence [against him] is fair or lawful", and the police case was a "gross fabrication".

Winders' sister Miranda Dallow called the 17-year sentence a "miscarriage of justice". She told media outside the court her brother was "framed", and called the police "unprofessional". 

Detective Superintendent Tim Anderson however said the "thorough" investigation involved "countless hours of work".

"I want to thank the investigation team, the expert witnesses and all those who have assisted with this complex inquiry.

"I would also like to again acknowledge and thank the family of George Taiaroa who have conducted themselves with great dignity throughout the investigation and court process."

More than 130 witnesses gave evidence in the trial.

Mr Taiaroa's killing shocked New Zealand and sparked a massive police investigation, which culminated in Winders' arrest in November, 2015.

The 45 year-old lived in a shed on steep hill country in Whangamomona at the time of the killing.