A Kiwi actor, whose star has recently been on the rise, is accused of a violent incident that could see him face jail time.
Pana Lawrence Hema-Taylor, 26, who starred in Taika Waititi's hit movie Boy, has recently graced TV screens across the country on TV3's Westside as dodgy mechanic Bert Thompson.
But today he appeared in Auckland District Court facing allegations of violence against another man, over a fracas outside his family's home.
He was originally charged with assault when he first appeared a couple of weeks ago but today police amended that to a count of assault with intent to injure.
If found guilty, Hema-Taylor could face as long as three years in prison.
No formal plea was entered in court today but in a statement provided to the Herald, the actor said he would defend the charge and could "only trust that the court will accept that my actions were required".
Hema-Taylor said the charge was the result of an "unwanted" incident outside his family's home when he was visiting in February.
"I became involved when I heard cries for assistance and went outside to see female family members involved in a physical altercation with some strangers," he said in the statement.
"I reacted to prevent my family members being assaulted and to break up the incident . . . I have assisted the police with their investigations and I am disappointed I have been charged."
Kiwis look set to see a lot of Hema-Taylor this year as he is also a key cast member on TVNZ's upcoming series Dirty Laundry.
This month he told Spy he was also out shooting scenes for Prime's third season of The Brokenwood Mysteries.
"It has been the busiest year of my acting career - I'm not complaining either, I worked really hard to get to where I am today," the 26-year-old said.
"From theatre to TV and film, I'm very proud of my achievements and so is my mum, which puts a smile on my dial. I've been getting told a lot lately that I'm the busiest actor in New Zealand and it's good to hear.
"It's hard to be an actor and get work in NZ, you need to make the most of it and grab the opportunities with both hands - and also learn how to budget, haha."
Hema-Taylor has a 6-year-old son with ex-partner Wentworth star Danielle Cormack and early last year he had a daughter with his girlfriend, Naomi Campbell.
"I'm very lucky, I have two beautiful kids who motivate me to become a better person and actor and I want them to have a good education -which involves a bit of money," he said.
Hema-Taylor will be back in court next month.
"I have been charged with an assault many months after an unwanted incident outside of my family's address, I was there visiting. I became involved when I heard cries for assistance and went outside to see female family members involved in a physical altercation with some strangers. This was happening on the footpath outside their own home. I reacted to prevent my family members being assaulted and to break up the incident. I acted in what I believe to be a reasonable manner. As a result, I was embroiled in an unwanted altercation. I deny being guilty of an assault. I was only seeking to break up the incident and to protect my family. I have assisted the Police with their investigations and I am disappointed I have been charged. I propose to defend that charge at this time and can only trust that the court will accept that my actions were required."