Harawira court hearing continues

By Matthew Theunissen


A judge has tried to prevent Hone Harawira from prolonging his hearing on the minor charge of failing to comply with a police instruction, which was laid after a protest in Auckland last year.

Harawira, who is representing himself, has called about a dozen witnesses, all of whom were fighting the removal of state houses in the east Auckland suburb of Glen Innes one night last October.

They occupied a property being removed in preparation for redevelopment, while Harawira allegedly locked himself in his car and turned his music up loud, blocking a Housing New Zealand-contracted truck and trailer unit from leaving with the house.

Police told him several times to move but he refused and they eventually smashed a window and arrested him.

He pleaded not guilty and during his defended hearing at Auckland District Court has argued that he did not move the car because his headlights were ensuring the safety of female protesters on the roof of a house.

On several occasions Judge Stan Thorburn pulled Harawira up for asking his witnesses leading questions, and he tried to direct him to address the issues relating to the charge.

"This is not a charge of causing grievous bodily harm or something like that," Judge Thorburn said.

"This is about whether you failed to move your car when legally instructed to by an enforcement officer."

Judge Thorburn has previously said he accepted Harawira's reasons for being at the protest that night.

Harawira responded that it was important for the judge to understand the circumstances that led to his actions that night.

The hearing, which was set down for two days, is already well into its third day.

Judge Thorburn offered the police prosecutor and Harawira an opportunity to sum up their cases, reiterating that it was an opportunity to address legal issues and not to rehash evidence already heard.

Harawira requested another hour to sum up his defence, but after Judge Thorburn interjected, he accepted half an hour.

Judge Thorburn said he already had about 70 pages of notes to go through and wanted the case to finish today.

He indicated he would deliver his decision later this afternoon.


- Northern Advocate

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