Case 23: The Aramoana Massacre (PART I)


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ARAMOANA, OTAGO. Located 27km north of Dunedin, tucked away at the mouth of the Otago Harbour in the South Island of New Zealand, you will find the small seaside village of Aramoana. The village which translates to ‘pathway to the sea’ is made up of approximately 260 residents who affectionately refer to it as ‘The Spit’. The village is truly remote with no street lights, shops, hotels or a police station. A vast array of wildlife also populate the area as Aramoana and its beach provide an important feeding ground for black swans, spur-winged plovers, banded dotterels, white-faced herons, kingfishers, and yellow eyed penguins.

By the late 20th century, Aramoana was home to all kinds of people, many were ‘townies’ just trying to get away from ‘the big smoke’, some were families just looking for a quiet, peaceful place to raise their children, and others were folk just looking for that ‘small, country town’ feeling.

Nevertheless the ‘pathway to the sea’ will be forever synonymous with one man who is more complicated to categorize, an enigma who carried out one of New Zealand’s most grotesque and calamitous massacres. The crimes committed those Spring days in November 1990 are forever remembered as ‘The Aramoana Massacre’.

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