New Zealander Tamate Heke sentenced to prison for Australian road-rage death

New Zealander Tamate Heke has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for unlawful striking causing death when he accidentally pushed a man into traffic.

Shane Merrigan died when he fell into the path of a truck travelling 90 km/h down a busy motorway after Heke retaliated during an argument on the side of the road.

On Friday, Justice Peter Applegarth told him he should never have become violent, ABC News reported.

"You should not have let your anger get the better of you," he said.

Heke had originally been facing a charge for manslaughter, but was found not guilty to that charge by jury after half a day of deliberations.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 80 percent of his sentence, meaning he will be in prison for at least five years and two months.

He will be eligible for parole on April 17, 2023.