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Man who died fleeing police jailed 18 years ago for fatally stabbing teen

A man who died this week fleeing police in Horowhenua was jailed 18 years ago for fatally stabbing a teenager in the heart.

Steven Hoani Bunyan, 43, of Ōtaki, was pulled over by police near Manakau on Tuesday afternoon.

Bunyan stopped his vehicle but when an officer approached the car, Bunyan drove off at speed on State Highway 1.

Police did not pursue the vehicle and a short time later came across Bunyan’s crashed car at the intersection of SH1 and Kuku Beach Rd at 1.28pm.

Bunyan died at the scene. The driver of another vehicle involved in the crash appeared uninjured but was transported by ambulance to hospital for observation .

The crash closed SH1, causing significant delays for motorists, and is now under investigation.

Police tonight confirmed the identity of the dead man as Bunyan.

Police would not comment, but the Herald understands Bunyan was jailed for six years in 2003 for stabbing Highbury teenager Wiremu Waho to death through the heart in Palmerston North.

Waho, 18, was killed at a party when he tried to stop a fight between Bunyan’s girlfriend, a Black Power associate, and another woman with Mongrel Mob affiliations.

Bunyan, who had lived in New Plymouth at the time, was found guilty of manslaughter.

About 1000 mourners filled the Kawiu Marae in Levin to farewell Waho before his body was carried to his family’s burial ground, TVNZ reported at the time.

“You might be gone my brother but you’re still here, still in our hearts where it means the most … you’ll never be forgotten,” Waho’s brother Jason Waho said at the tangi.

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