A man accused of murdering an expatriate New Zealander on
holiday at Waihi Beach boasted to police that he would get
off the charge and that his belief in God would save him, a
court has been told.
Israel Kaihau is on trial in the High Court at Hamilton for
the murder of Robert Wilkinson at Waihi Beach.
Mr Wilkinson told the 19-year-old to leave the property he
was staying at with his wife and friends when the latter
stabbed him in the side of the head on January 1. He died two
Kaihau has since admitted to killing Mr Wilkinson, but says
it wasn't murder.
In a recorded police interview, Kaihau said he had been
drinking at his Waihi home on New Year's Eve. He later went
with a group to a friend's house on Citrus Ave at Waihi Beach
for an 18th birthday party despite being on bail and under
curfew conditions. He told police that he was back at his
Waihi home shortly after midnight.
But police inquiries revealed Kaihau was at a property on the
Esplanade at Waihi Beach between 12.20 to 12.30pm where
party-goers asked him several times to leave.
Police say his alleged encounter with the Wilkinsons took
place at 12.50pm.
Kaihau's blue sweatshirt was also found at the rear of the
property where Mr Wilkinson was killed.
But when questioned about it Kaihau said he thought he had
lost it playing touch two days later.
Witnesses - including Mrs Wilkinson - also reported seeing a
polite man who fitted Kaihau's description with a rat's tail
with silver beads in it.
He cut it off the following day and told police he did so
because he had "kutus" (lice).
When told his story didn't add up and that he was being
charged with Mr Wilkinson's murder, he said "the truth will
come out in the end".
"God knows what happened here ... the truth will come out, I
know it wasn't me."
"I don't give a sh** - if you believe me or not ... I will
go, I will do whatever, go to court because I will get off,"
Earlier the court heard from Kaihau's friend of more than 15
years, Damien Martin, who said he went to his home on January
While there, Kaihau told him he thought he was involved in a
stabbing earlier that day.
Kaihau said to him: "F*** , I think I stabbed someone last
"I don't know who it was, I think I stabbed him in the face,"
Mr Martin saw Kaihau's fold-out blade, which was covered in
some "sticky stuff" that was later revealed to be blood.
The court heard how Martin had seen the knife in the past and
had sharpened it for Kaihau.
Deborah Mulgrew told the court how she bumped into Kaihau at
the Citrus Ave party where the pair had been playing drinking
games some time after the new year's countdown at the Waihi
Beach surf club.
She said he appeared nervous and scared.
"He kind of said what happened ... he said he had stabbed
someone in the face," she said. "He said that the guy came
out and told him to get off the property or something like
The trial continues today.
- James Ihaka of the New Zealand Herald