Red Fox tavern cold case: Trial gets underway more than three decades on from alleged murder

The trial over the infamous Red Fox Tavern cold case has begun more than three decades after the murder of publican Chris Bush. 

Mark Hoggart and his co-accused - another man who has interim name suppression - are jointly charged with murder and aggravated robbery 

Bush was allegedly gunned down by the pair during an armed hold-up at the pub in Maramarua in October 1987. 

The father-of-two was having a drink with three staff after closing, when two men interrupted them. He was shot dead, and the pair made off with $36,000 in cash and cheques.

The case remained unsolved until 2017, when new credible evidence came to light. At the time, Detective Inspector Gary Lendrum spoke about the breakthrough. 

"Last year we received some what I believe is quite credible information as to the identity of the persons responsible for this killing."

Thirty-four days after detectives re-opened the case, Hoggart and his co-accused were arrested. 

The men's trial got underway on Tuesday at the High Court in Auckland, where a jury of seven men and five women were empanelled.

Justice Mark Woolford reminded the jury to put aside anything they had heard or read about the case outside of the courtroom, and to judge the duo only on the evidence that is presented to them. 

The trial is set down for between 10 to 12 weeks.