My father was posted to Kawerau as its traffic officer, in 1964. From then until about 1977, when a second officer arrived, he was the only traffic officer for the town and the entire surrounding district.
On 26 January 2012 and over the following few days, there was widespread media coverage of the accusation by Kawerau building inspector and ex cop Tony Moller, that my father, Mervyn Derrick Hinton, was responsible for the murder of Mona Blades and subsequent concealment of her body. The accusation attracted attention because of the excavation by the Police of the laundry at the house in Kawerau that was built by my parents in 1975.
From 1964 until late 1975 we lived in a state house in Onslow Street, after which we moved to a house built by my parents at 3 Kirk Crescent.
In 1980 my parents moved to Auckland because my father was promoted to sergeant and posted to become a prosecutor based on the North Shore. Dad took voluntary early retirement as part of the merger of traffic enforcement into the Police. He and mum moved to Australia in 1996, and he passed away there on 5 May 2008.
Mona Blades was last seen on 31 May 1975, the Saturday of a long weekend. She had been hitchhiking from Hamilton to Napier.
Ms Blades made it as far as Taupo. A woman who had given her a lift, dropped her off there. Ms Blades went to the Taupo information centre and spoke to the attendant, who remembered her. A truck driver later saw her getting into an orange Datsun 1200 station wagon on the outskirts of Taupo. Later still, she was seen by another man sitting in the back seat of the station wagon which was then parked on Matea Road, about 300 yards off the Napier-Taupo highway (the turn off is about 80km from Taupo, going towards Napier). Two more people saw the same car travelling down Matea Road; and three further people saw it parked beside the highway in the Matea area.
Despite extensive searching, Ms Bladesí body has never been found and no-one has ever been charged with her murder.
Accusations Against My Father
I donít know why Tony Moller first began to think that my father had something to do with this, but here is what he told the Police.
© COPYRIGHT 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED PAULINE BARRATT