Friday, 26 April 2002 - 11:35am |
National News

Summary of facts re: Terence Traynor court appearance (Kahu kidnapping)

8 min read

The following is the Police Summary of Facts read at Traynor's appearance in the Lower Hutt District court this morning.

He pleaded guilty to all five charges and has been remanded in custody until 24 May.


75C Hikumutu Road


DOB: 23.08.47

AGE: 54 years

OCC: Unemployed



Crimes Act 1961, Section 209(1)(c)

Penalty: 14 years imprisonment

Commission of a Crime with a Firearm

Penalty: 10 years imprisonment (code 1483)

Aggravated Wounding

Crimes Act 1961, Section 191(1)(a)

Penalty: 14 years imprisonment (code 1417)

Threatening to Kill

Crimes Act 1961, Section 306(a)

Penalty: 7 years imprisonment (code 1710)

Threatening to Kill

Crimes Act 1961, Section 306(a)

Penalty: 7 years imprisonment (code 1710)

HEARING : Friday the 26th April 2002


In late 1998, the defendant, Terence Ward TRAYNOR, stole a registration plate, UL3802, from a vehicle parked in Freemans Bay, Auckland.

This theft was the start of the defendant’s planning process to kidnap a prominent person for monetary gain.

During 2001, the defendant obtained from the Sunday Star Times, a "rich list" of prominent New Zealand people, from which he considered his selection of potential targets to kidnap.

He selected Donna HALL, a lawyer from Lower Hutt, and then commenced more detailed planning to kidnap her. He was able to identify her address through the electoral roll.

In early 2002, the defendant purchased a house in Taumarunui and commenced alterations. This involved him purchasing a large amount of building materials including plywood that he nailed over the gib board in rooms of the house to assist in sound proofing them with the intention of limiting his victims movement within the house and preventing his victim’s escape.

He also put plywood boards over the windows, hinging them so the windows could still be opened. He also had made provisions to enable the windows to be padlocked, so that his victim could not get out.

In the bathroom and toilet area he made substantial building alterations to allow his victim freedom of movement between the toilet and bathroom areas, but preventing wider access to other parts of the house.

Between January 2002 and April 2002, the defendant made regular trips to Lower Hutt, staying in a local holiday camp under the false name of Reg BAKER.

During these visits, the defendant used his time to surveil Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL and her family in their day to day activities, taking notes of their movements.

Early in March 2002, the defendant changed the focus of his target from Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL to her 8 month old daughter Kahurautete DURIE. He believed it would be too difficult to kidnap Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL and much easier for him to take her baby. From this point baby Kahurautete became his target.

In late March 2002, the defendant rented a storage facility in the Seaview area for the sole purpose of storing the motor vehicle to be used in the kidnapping.

At Easter 2002, the defendant purchased a Mitsubishi Magna motor vehicle, registration number SA6001, from the Ellerslie Car Fair in Auckland specifically for this purpose. The vehicle was of similar description to the vehicle from which he had stolen the number plate in 1998.

At approximately 9pm on the 12th April 2002, the defendant stole another number plate from a similar vehicle to the Mitsubishi Magna from Countdown carpark in Lower Hutt. He now had two stolen number plates bearing different registration numbers.

Prior to the kidnapping, the defendant removed the original plates from the Mitsubishi Magna and placed the 1998 stolen plate UL3802 on the front of the vehicle, and the stolen plate AHL171 on the rear of the vehicle.

On the morning of the 13th April 2002, the defendant continued his planning by visiting a store in Lower Hutt where he purchased a thermos and two babies bottles for the purpose of heating milk for baby Kahurautete once he had kidnapped her.

He then returned to the holiday camp, heated milk and put it in the thermos, and then went to the victim’s home street, where he lay in wait, watching her address.

The defendant, at this time, was in the Mitsubishi Magna with the stolen plates on the front and rear of the vehicle. He had disguised himself by wearing a balaclava and gloves. He also had with him a .22 Ruger semi automatic firearm, which had been cut down so that it was easily held in one hand. This was loaded with ten rounds of ammunition.

About 11.20am, Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL, baby Kahurautete and her two nieces - Manumea Marama DURIE and Erena Shirley DURIE, left their home address to go for a walk. The family dog was also with them.

The defendant watched them leave the home address and then followed them until they entered St Albans Grove, Lower Hutt.

The defendant then drove to the end of St Albans Grove, where he parked his car outside the Day Care Centre and lay in wait.

As the victims approached the steps to the stopbank, which leads to Strand Park, the defendant ran from his vehicle across the road and approached the victims.

Erena Shirley DURIE and Manumea Marama DURIE, who was pushing baby Kahurautete, were a few metres ahead of Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL, who was with the family dog. The defendant then pointed the firearm at the head of Erena DURIE and threatened to kill her and her sister Manumea. At this time the defendant was waving the firearm between the two girls, threatening them and yelling at them to leave the baby and go up the steps onto the stopbank.

Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL by this stage had caught up to her nieces. The defendant then also threatened her and the dog by pointing the firearm in their direction and demanding that she get rid of the dog. Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL was too afraid to resist and therefore complied with his demands.

He then continued to yell at all three victims in a threatening manner, telling them to obey his demands. The girls made their way up the concrete steps and Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL lead the dog into a nearby property to comply with the defendant’s demands.

The defendant then took the pushchair, containing baby Kahurautete, over to his vehicle and took her from the push chair and placed her in the front seat of the Mitsubishi Magna. He then placed the firearm between his legs and sped off.

At the same time, Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL ran out onto the road in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but realising that the defendant was not going to stop, jumped out of the way to avoid being run over.

The defendant then drove the Mitsubishi vehicle to the Seaview Marina. He then transferred baby Kahurautete into his Mazda, registration ALD321, which he had previously left parked there as part of his plan.

He placed her into the back of the vehicle, where he had previously fashioned a mattress into a ‘u’ shaped design so that baby Kahurautete could lie safely.

He has also put the firearm in this vehicle.

The defendant then drove the Mitsubishi Magna a short distance back to the storage garage leaving the vehicle in there away from public view.

He then locked the storage garage and ran back to his Mazda vehicle and drove with baby Kahurautete to the holiday camp. He then waited at his site in the holiday camp for approximately three hours, to avoid Police in the event that roadblocks had been set up. Here he remained with baby Kahurautete until about 3.30pm when he left the holiday camp and drove to Taumarunui.

Onthe 16th April 2002, the Defendant posted a letter to Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL’s address in Lower Hutt. Police intercepted this letter from the DURIE HALL letterbox on the 17th April 2002.

The envelope contained a ransom note, as well as five polaroid photographs of baby Kahurautete sitting on a couch with a newspaper article relating to the kidnapping pinned to the wall behind her.

The ransom note stated that baby Kahurautete was alive and well and would be returned to Donna HALL in exchange for $3 million dollars.

The note said that if there was any interference from the Police, or the ransom was not paid in full, she would not see her baby again.

The defendant further stated in the note that there would only be one attempt to collect the ransom and if there was any sign of Police at all or the involvement of any aircraft, then she would not see her baby again.

The ransom was to be $1 million dollars New Zealand in $100 dollar bills, $1 million dollars New Zealand in $50 dollar bills, and also $1 million dollars in gold coins.

There were further instructions in the note outlining the manner in which Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL should make contact with the defendant to arrange delivery of the ransom.

On the 18th April 2002 at about 1.50pm, the defendant left baby Kahurautete at his address and drove from Taumarunui to the township of Te Awamutu. There he telephoned Donna Marie Tai Tokerau DURIE HALL and asked her if the ransom was ready. He reiterated the terms of the ransom and told her that he would call her back in a couple of days.

At approximately 4pm on Sunday the 21st April 2002, the defendant again left his home address at 75C Hikumutu Road, Taumarunui, leaving baby Kahurautete alone inside. Police took this opportunity to enter his address and they located baby Kahurautete. She appeared to be safe and well.

Approximately three hours later, the defendant returned to his home address where he was apprehended by the Police.

The defendant was spoken to at the Taumarunui Police Station and admitted all the facts as outlined.

He stated that his primary motivation for kidnapping baby Kahurautete was for money, and he believed her family would be able to pay the ransom.

He also stated that he never intended to hurt baby Kahurautete and was fully prepared to wait it out until the end of June 2002 in the event that the ransom was not paid. He stated that he was happy to have the baby with him and he was not intending on making another phone call to the family.

He further stated that if the ransom was not paid, or anything had gone wrong, he would have eventually returned the baby.

The defendant is a single man, aged 54 years. He is currently unemployed and has previously appeared before the Court.

An order is sought for both vehicles, registration numbers SA6001and ALD321, both of which were used in the commission of these offences to be forfeited to the Court, pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act 1985.

Completed by:

M. J. Ledger

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant

Operation St Albans