Hone Harawira's 'not guilty' plea

By Kieran Campbell

MP Hone Harawira after his appearance at the Auckland District Court this morning. Photo / NZ Herald
MP Hone Harawira after his appearance at the Auckland District Court this morning. Photo / NZ Herald

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says his court appearance this morning could be criticised as a publicity stunt but he defends his actions during last week's housing protest.

Surrounded by smiling supporters with flags outside Auckland District Court, Harawira said lawyers were lining up to represent him for a charge of failing to comply with a police direction.

Harawira, who was arrested after allegedly refusing to move his car during a public housing protest in Glen Innes on October 11, said he had a sound track record of defending himself in court.

Wearing a black T-shirt with the slogan "state houses are state assets", Harawira pleaded not guilty in court this morning.

Four co-accused - Chant West, Kirsty Fong, Ella Grace and Omar Hamed - also pleaded not guilty to their charges.

Activists outside the courthouse waved flags as Harawira and his co-accused arrived at court.

"[This is] part of an ongoing battle, an ongoing struggle at Glen Innes," activist John Minto said.

Mr Minto said the court case was a pity for Harawira and the others charged but he hoped it would be valuable publicity for their protest.

The red and black flags on busy Albert St - as well as the photographers and news cameras - attracted the attention of drivers.

- APNZ

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