Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

'Oh yeah, her story's wrong' - police

Shona Maiden claimed she was attack on New Year's Eve at a local Howick bar. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Shona Maiden claimed she was attack on New Year's Eve at a local Howick bar. Photo / Jason Oxenham

New claims have surfaced in an incident in which a woman had five teeth knocked out in an altercation with a man outside an East Auckland bar.

Shona Maiden appeared in the Herald and on television news this week after being assaulted near the 123 Karaoke Bar in Howick.

She claimed she was attacked by a man who had a problem with her saying "ka kite ano" (see you later) to friends as she was heading home. The man allegedly questioned why a Palagi -- Samoan for a European -- was speaking in te reo Maori.

But today, police said they were laying assault charges against both the man and Maiden herself, after CCTV footage suggested her story of events had been misleading.

A staffer at 123 Karaoke Bar, who asked not to be named, told the Herald the incident occurred as staff were cleaning up following New Year's Eve celebrations.

"All of a sudden, we saw an incident outside and we ran outside and intervened. But we didn't know what the story was."

None of the staff saw the altercation. It was not until they saw the news coverage and reviewed the security footage that they found out.

"The CCTV footage - the policeman saw it himself - and he goes, 'Oh yeah, her story's wrong'."

The footage showed Maiden speaking with a man who was smoking outside.

Words were exchanged, then she slapped him on the head. The man did not retaliate then.

"He just looked at her and carried on smoking. Then they were talking again and then the friends went.

"One of [her] friends came back and then that's when she punched him. Then, I think, he couldn't take it from there."

The man did retaliate then, hitting back.

"She punched him clean in the face and it pushed him back," the staffer said. "He stumbled backwards. The police watched it over and over again... It was a big hit.

"There was another guy involved, too, but he did a blindshot [punch] to the guy. That's when we came in and broke it up."

The staffer said although the incident was unfortunate, it was important to reveal the truth behind the incident -- particularly as staff were said to have not intervened or offered to help Maiden after she was attacked.

"After the incident happened, we helped her out and we asked her if she wanted us to ring the police or [ambulance] and she declined it," he said.

"We're trying to make the area as safe as possible. There's only so much we can do inside the bar. Whatever they do outside, we can't control."

The worker said Maiden was not a regular at the 123 Karaoke Bar. The man, however, regularly popped in with his partner or friends.

The worker also said staff were disappointed that Maiden had claimed her attacker was of Pacific descent after he branded her a Palagi.

"He's Maori. Not only Islanders say 'Palagi'. When I saw that, I said to people, 'That's wrong'."

Maiden and the man involved will appear in court on January 12.

- NZ Herald

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