Candidate says sorry to whanau

An independent candidate contesting the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election contemplated pulling out of the race following his appearance in the Hastings District Court yesterday.

Maurice Wairau, Palmerston North, was charged for refusing a blood alcohol test and was remanded on bail to reappear in court on July 2.

There were no suppressions attached to his appearance in court.

Mr Wairau contested the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat at the 2011 general election and was again standing as an independent candidate at this month's by-election which will conclude on June 29.

The Electoral Commission said Mr Wairau had contacted the office on Monday to see if his court appearance would affect his candidacy in the by-election.

A spokesperson for the commission said it would not and Mr Wairau will still stand as a candidate.

Comments posted by Mr Wairau on his Facebook page on Sunday indicated he regretted his actions.

"I should not of been there but when you have to defend for yourself you will do whatever means. I am sorry whanau I go to Hastings court on Tuesday.

"I will be contacting the Electoral Commission in the morning and could possibly be disqualified. As a candidate I am sorry for bringing false hope to my family and Ikaroa-Rawhiti. I am sorry for all those I have hurt and hope one day you may forgive me."

Seven candidates will contest the by-election including Meka Whaitiri (Labour), Na Raihania (Maori Party), Marama Davidson (Green Party), Te Hamua Nikora (Mana Party), Adam Holland (independent) and Mr Wairau.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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