Neo-nazi a double killer

"Abhorrent" neo-nazi white supremacist beliefs sparked the hate-killings of two men on the West Coast, it can now be revealed.

Hayden Brent McKenzie has had at least 21 years added to the four years he has already served in prison, before parole is possible.

First McKenzie killed a family friend he labelled a "faggot", and later he pinned the arms of Korean tourist Jae-hyeon Kim, staring into his eyes as another man allegedly choked the life out him.

The killings rank McKenzie alongside Graeme Burton as one of the few New Zealanders to have committed two unconnected murders.

McKenzie, 31, is four years into a life term for the murder of eccentric homosexual James "Janis" Bambrough in 1999. He was not caught till May 2004.

Justice Simon France has lifted suppression orders that stopped McKenzie's dual role being exposed. In each case McKenzie led police to the body years after it had been buried.

McKenzie was sentenced in the High Court at Wellington yesterday to a second life sentence, this time to serve at least 21 years before parole is possible, for Mr Kim's murder in October 2003.

The sentence begins immediately, meaning McKenzie will serve at least 25 years.

The non-parole period is four years longer than the Crown sought, in part because the judge viewed McKenzie's help in recovering Mr Kim's body as remedying a wrong, rather than being something to be "overly lauded".

Crown lawyer Chris Lange said finding the body was of real value for Mr Kim's family, but the judge said it would have been unnecessary if not for other things McKenzie had done. He said McKenzie may be in jail for the rest of his life.

His part in the killing of two people because of his abhorrent supremacist beliefs meant he represented a danger to which the public should not be exposed without a change in his attitude to the value of human life, Justice France said.

McKenzie sat apparently unconcerned as Mr Kim's mother broke down and beat her fist on a table as she told of her grief at losing her son in such a senseless way in a foreign country.

Mr Kim, 23, a South Korean economics student on a backpacking holiday in New Zealand, was picked up hitchhiking near the Buller Bridge out of Westport by McKenzie and two other men in October 2003.

McKenzie pretended his car was stuck and the others got out to push. Another man is yet to stand trial for his alleged role, but it was said that Mr Kim was grabbed in a choker hold. McKenzie said "Nein blut", German for "No blood".

McKenzie grabbed Mr Kim's arms to stop his resistance. Police say McKenzie stared into the victim's eyes till he stopped struggling and fell to the ground.

Mr Kim's body was searched for money, then stripped and left in bush to be buried later. McKenzie ordered Mr Kim's belongings to be burnt. He was arrested in June this year and pleaded guilty to murder in October.

Justice France said it seemed that the teenage death of McKenzie's only close friend at the hands of an older Maori man was the spur for his white supremacist sympathies.


The Dominion Post