The man accused of murdering Manawatu farmer Scott Guy lied in a police interview when asked about a series of other crimes in the area over recent years.

Ewen Macdonald, 32, is on trial in the High Court at Wellington, charged with gunning down Mr Guy - his brother-in-law - in the driveway of his Aorangi Road farm, near Feilding, in the early morning of July 8, 2010.

Macdonald was arrested on April 7 last year over the murder.

Earlier that day, Macdonald was interviewed by police about his knowledge of the theft of two deer from a neighbouring farm in 2006, the torching of an old house on Mr Guy's property in 2008 and vandalism of Mr Guy's new home in 2009.

In a video recording played to the court on Monday, Macdonald denied any involvement in the crimes.

Asked by Detective Laurie Howell whether he had personal knowledge of the deer theft, Macdonald replied: "Nah, I'm not that stupid. It's too close to home."

He said he had read about the theft in a newspaper.

Macdonald also denied a role in the arson, saying "it was of no benefit to me", and told police he had been driving to Northland when the vandalism took place.

Mr Guy's wife Kylee was shaken by the vandalism and Macdonald organised for a relative who was a kaumatua to bless the property to help set her at ease.

However, Macdonald later admitted all three crimes, but denies he murdered Mr Guy, although there was "some tension" between the two over their work on the Guy family farm.

Macdonald told police in the taped interview he had been trying to make an effort to communicate better with Mr Guy, and the men and their wives went out for dinner and spent more time together before Mr Guy's death.

The Crown alleges the arson and criminal damage were part of a campaign by Macdonald to drive Mr Guy and his wife from the family farm.

The trial is continuing.

NZ Newswire

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