Chanel Rewa Namana appeared before Justice Christine Grice in the High Court at Wellington. PHOTO/FILE

Daughter follows father, brother, sister, and cousin to prison

A Masterton woman involved in a Wairarapa drug ring alongside several family members, was sentenced to six years and four months imprisonment on Friday.

Chanel Rewa Namana, 39, appeared before Justice Christine Grice in the High Court at Wellington, having earlier pleaded guilty to several charges relating to the supply of methamphetamine.

Her guilty pleas were to one charge of participating in organised crime, two representative charges of supplying methamphetamine, a class A drug, and one representative charge for possession of methamphetamine for supply, an estimated total of about 448 grams.

The charges related to an 11-month investigation in 2017, dubbed Operation Sweden, into the supply and distribution of methamphetamine throughout Wairarapa involving several members of her family.

Her brother Iherangi Eruha Namana, sister Merepeka Moana Namana, and father Wayne Moewaka Namana, who was the head of the group, had already been sentenced, with the latter receiving a sentence of five years and seven months imprisonment.

Defence lawyer Gary Turkington argued Namana’s sentence should be comparative to the other sentences in respect of her role.

A sentence starting point of eight years would be appropriate though discounts should also be offered for her guilty pleas, he said.

Crown prosecutor Grant Burston said a sentence starting point of nine years would be comparative though firm, acknowledging the key role she played in the operation.

Namana was responsible for organising the wholesale supply of methamphetamine to the family in Wairarapa, working through a cousin in Auckland, Michael Hanna, who was sentenced to 12 years and eight months in prison on Friay.

She also had her own customers to whom she sold directly.

The amount of methamphetamine she possessed was “significantly more” than what her father was sentenced for and the motivation and background was different, Burston said.

“The offending, unlike that of her brother and Hanna, was not driven by addiction.

“It was motivated by greed and the opportunity it offered for an easy lifestyle.”

Justice Grice acknowledged Namana’s business prowess and the prominent roles she had played in the community, helping support family members and encouraging the uptake of te reo Maori.

But it was members of this community who had been harmed by her offending, she said.

“The amount of social harm is significant.”

She said the premeditation involved in the offending, the number of supplies and sales, the high amount of methamphetamine and the commercial imperative were aggravating features of the charges.

Based on a sentence starting point of eight years and six months imprisonment, Namana was sentenced to six years and four months imprisonment.