23 Mar 2013

Dive squad search fails to find clues in homicide

5:50 pm on 23 March 2013

A search of the Waikato River by the police dive squad has failed to find anything that might help in their hunt for the person who fatally shot a road worker near Tokoroa.

George Taiaroa, 67, of Hamilton was shot dead on Tuesday on Tram Road in the Kinleith Forest while operating a stop-go sign at a single lane bridge.

Police say they decided to search the river to ensure no stone had been left unturned but they came up empty-handed following Saturday's search.

However, they say they have received about two dozen calls to an 0800 information number set up for the case on Friday.

Most of them relate to the sightings of vehicles.

Police are particularly interested in the movements of a dark blue four wheel drive.

Funeral held

George Taiaroa's body was this week taken to rest at Ngatokowaru marae in Levin, where his funeral was held on Saturday.

In a statement, Mr Taiaroa's family say the grandfather of three had a passion for fishing, diving and rugby - but his family always came first.

Mr Taiaroa leaves behind his wife, Helen, to whom he was married to for 43 years.

The marae's committee chair, Rachael Selby, says he was a selfless and loving man.

"If you wanted someone to watch your back, you couldn't have done any better than having him.

"I only ever found him to be a calm, peaceful sort of person who was incredibly supportive of his family, generous with his time and with his energy for them - especially for his wife."

Flowers and a hard hat have been placed near the site where Mr Taiaroa was killed.

Flowers and a hard hat have been placed near the site where Mr Taiaroa was killed. Photo: RNZ