Mentor for troubled Maori sent to jail

By Imran Ali -
Akuhata Hita, 29, was sentenced to prison for one year and three months.
Akuhata Hita, 29, was sentenced to prison for one year and three months.

A mentor for troubled young Maori in Whangarei "blotted his copybook" by being involved in a night-time punch-up with the occupants of a house, a judge said before sending the man to prison.

Akuhata Hita, 29, appeared with Para Hendriks, also 29, for sentencing in the Whangarei District Court last week after both earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of injuring with intent to injure.

Judge Duncan Harvey said Hita had been doing counselling in schools to keep people out of crime.

"You really have blotted your copybook," he said before sending Hita to prison for one year and three months.

Judge Harvey, however, granted Hita leave to apply for home detention.

A report on a suitable home detention address was not available at the time of sentencing.

Hendriks was sentenced to 17 months in prison but should be released soon, given that he had been in custody since November last year.

Judge Harvey said that about 1.50am on December 21, 2014, both men, along with two others, went to a house in Whangarei looking for someone.

Hendriks, who was drunk, started banging on the door and yelling which woke the occupants up. A fight later broke out between the occupants and Hendricks and Hita then joined in. The judge said it was an unfortunate incident which woke the whole house up.

There was an element of home invasion because the actions of Hita initially woke the occupant and his son before a fight ensued.

A person was stabbed but Judge Harvey said he could not take that into account because the charge to which Hendriks and Hita pleaded guilty to did not cover that incident.

Hita's lawyer, Wayne McKean, said although his client had been in and out of courts for a long time he had been turning his life around before the latest offending by helping young Maori in Whangarei.

He said Hita genuinely regretted his actions and had been away from his family for the past 14 months while he had been on electronic bail.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 26 Oct 2016 14:15:50 Processing Time: 316ms