Barrister throws hat in ring for shot at mayoralty

By Lawrence Gullery

A Havelock North barrister who campaigned to have a police officer who shot a teen named will be throwing his own name into the mix of candidates for the Hastings mayoral position.

Defence lawyer Peter Nee Harland had asked police to name the officer who fatally shot 19-year-old Lachan Kelly-Tumarae in 2011.

A police investigation determined the officer was not criminally liable for the death but Mr Nee Harland, in 2012, said there was a "concerning" lack of accountability in the police investigation.

Disclosing the identity would add transparency to the case and make police more accountable for their actions, he said.

Mr Nee Harland lost that battle, and another he fought against the Hastings District Council, when it moved to buy land at Waimarama from the Society of Mary. He mounted a legal challenge, on behalf of a group of Maori land owners, asking the society to show how it bought the land for its original owners.

Mr Nee Harland's focus had this year again turned to the Hastings council, but this time as an electoral candidate hoping to inspire change from inside the organisation.

It would be the third time he had stood in the Hastings council elections, after previous attempts in 2007 and 2010.

"I believe that Hastings could do with some colour. Besides, I think the district could benefit from implementing some of my ideas.

"I am of course interested in the effects of policy. I am not a member of any political party. My instinct is to vote Labour although I admit a lot of my ideas are Green influenced."

He said voters should he would stand for "equal opportunity" and regulation of "excessive power" during the coming election campaign.

He wanted protection of the district water quality and would vote "no" at the referendum on whether to continue dosing the town's water supply with fluoride. The referendum would be held at the same time as the council elections.

"I would pursue the development of a modern oxidation treatment plant for waste water, optimising the implementation of recycling concepts wherever possible.

"I favour solar and wind power generation and no to a joining of Hastings to Napier (councils), until Napier consent and, oh yes, the airport runway can be further lengthened."


- Hawkes Bay Today

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