Police use CCTV footage from Premier House as evidence in murder trial

2:47 pm on 11 June 2024
Premier House has had a number of different style additions throughout its history, and is protected as a heritage building.

Premier House, seen here in 2015. Photo: Supplied/ Ballofstring CC BY-SA 4.0

Police used CCTV footage - including from the prime minister's official residence - as evidence in a murder trial under way in the High Court in Wellington.

Shayde Carolyn Weston, Breeze Hunt-Weston, Louise Kelly Hume, and Pania Ella Waaka have all pleaded not guilty to the murder of Rau Tongia, who the Crown alleges was shot in the back while he slept at a house in Karori in December, 2020.

The Crown alleges in the hours before Tongia's death he assaulted Weston and his death was a revenge killing.

Hunt-Weston has pleaded not guilty to additional charges of an accessory after the fact to murder, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

A fifth person was due to go on trial but has not appeared due to health issues.

On Monday, police presented to the jury a series of CCTV footage they had collected from traffic cameras, local businesses, home security cameras and even the prime minister's official residence, Premier House.

The footage shows a silver BMW travelling from Petone to Halswell Lodge on Kent Terrace about 2am on 20 December 2020. It is then tracked from there to Karori, arriving at Percy Dyett Drive about 2.23am, where three people are seen getting out of the car.

Police and neighbours say officers were called to Percy Dyett Drive about 1.30am after Tongia was said to have assaulted Weston, and a second fight occurred after police had left.

Camera footage then shows the BMW heading towards Crofton Downs via Onslow Road. The Crown has alleged that this is the area Louise Kelly Hume lived and where the murder weapon was likely obtained from.

Police in footage earlier in the evening had identified Phoenix Colvin driving the car. Colvin was sentenced back in 2022 in relation to Tongia's death.

Meanwhile, four minutes after the BMW left the lodge, another car - a Nissan - is seen arriving and leaving the lodge twice between 2am and 5am, and was also spotted leaving the driveway of the property linked to Tongia.

A figure is seen coming around the passenger's side and the car is seen driving away with the headlights off, and seen back at Halswell Lodge about 5.01am.

After the Nissan is seen leaving again, police identify Breeze Hunt-Weston and Pania Waaka getting out of the car at the Waiwhetu BP.

The car is then seen travelling back to Halswell Lodge, where it arrives about 6.43am before departing again just after 7am and driving to Upper Hutt. Police this time also identify Shayde Weston as a passenger alongside Hunt-Weston and Waaka.

Defence counsel for Weston, Robert Lithgow, previously told the court his client was not even at Percy Dyett Drive during the time Tongia was killed.

Defence counsel for Hunt-Weston, Waaka and Hume also said their clients were not knowingly involved in Tongia's death.