Death number eleven in New Zealand's 'murder capital'

NZ Newswire

More police will be dispatched to Kaitaia, the town dubbed New Zealand's murder capital, following the eleventh homicide in seven years.

Kaitaia has been dubbed the muder capital of New Zealand. Photo: SNPA

A 77-year-old man became the latest to die, killed in a stabbing on Thursday night.

A long-time family friend of the man has been arrested over his death.

The 38-year-old was arrested shortly after the death, after he allegedly went to another friend's house and had a conversation that prompted them to contact police.

He is expected to face Kaitaia District Court on Friday, though police are yet to confirm what charges the man will face.

The small town, which does not have a 24 hour police presence, has reportedly had 21 murder, manslaughter and attempted murder offences committed there in the last two years.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said six more officers would be brought into the Northland region this financial year to meet the community's needs.

"It's not unusual for a number of criminal offences to occur in an area around the same period of time," he said in a statement on Friday.

"There's often no apparent reason for this, and we don't believe the homicides in Kaitaia are related."

The last murder was just two weeks ago when a 29-year-old was stabbed multiple time at a home on Pukepoto Road.

In June, police seized nearly half a tonne of methamphetamine, with a street value of almost half a billion dollars, in Kaitaia.

Kaitaia Police are feeling the strain. Photo: SNPA

Police said at the time it was, without doubt, the largest drug bust ever in New Zealand.

Mr Bush said he didn't believe those drugs were destined for the local market, and that Kaitaia doesn't have a methamphetamine problem worse than any other provincial town.


  • 77-year-old man August 5, 2016

  • 29-year-old man July 23, 2016

  • Lee Rata, 35, January 1, 2016

  • Joseph Keogh, 29, April 9, 2015

  • Ivan, 44, and Carmen Maheno, 38, May 19, 2013

  • Georgina Manuel, 29, August 20, 2013