A Dannevirke man had more than $9000 in fines wiped in Dannevirke District Court on Friday.

Fairlaine Chance Whaitiri, 21, had pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawfully getting on a motorcycle and guilty to driving while suspended. He was facing a trial before Judge Gerard Lynch.

Judge Lynch told the court Whaitiri had $9534 in outstanding fines that he was paying off at the rate of $38 from his unemployment benefit.

He indicated that by imposing a sentence of community work on Whaitiri he could wipe his fines.


"I'm not as tough on fines as some are and would look at a sentence of 100 hours community work."

Judge Lynch said Whaitiri had undertaken a building course and was looking for work.

"Imposing a sentence of supervision would put you under the Probation Service who would be happy to get you ready for work."

In regards to the driving while suspended Judge Lynch said Whaitiri had obtained his restricted licence and was booked in to sit his full licence.

Judge Lynch stood the case down while Whaitiri had a discussion with his counsel Nigel Hewat.

Back in court Whaitiri changed his plea to guilty.

Outlining the summary of facts Judge Lynch said Whaitiri was suspended from driving on March 6 for an accumulation of demerit points.

"On April 12 you were seen riding a motorcycle that had earlier been taken from Riverdale Rd, Dannevirke. I am not suggesting that you stole it, but you were plainly seen riding it."


The court was told there was a photographic montage which showed Whaitiri riding the motorcycle.

Judge Lynch said making regular payments on his fines meant Whaitiri's financial situation was "running pretty lean" and he was giving him the option of getting rid of his fines.

"Mr Whaitiri wants to get work and to knuckle down but he says it is hard to get work in Dannevirke. The Probation Service has a quality programme in place to help as him get into the workforce."

Judge Lynch sentenced Whaitiri to 100 hours community work on both charges, to be served concurrently.

On the charge of driving while suspended Judge Lynch said it made no sense for Whaitiri to be on the merry-go-round of disqualifying him from driving and for him to breach that disqualification.

"Each time there is a breach of the disqualification order the disqualification gets longer. You need to get your licence. I have elected not to impose a disqualification but sentence you to six months' supervision on the charge of driving while suspended."

A second driver was in court on two charges of driving while disqualified.

Judge Lynch said Mariano Vella, 29, shearer, had "a bit of history" of driving while disqualified but he was making progress in getting his licence back.

He said Vella was facing his 17th and 18th convictions for driving while disqualified.
The court was told Vella lived and worked out of town on a farm. When he was caught he said he needed to come to town to get milk for his children, but Judge Lynch said Vella had been caught in a hotel car park.

Rather than imposing a jail term, Judge Lynch said if Vella was keen on working a sentence of community detention made more sense.

"It seems to me you have got to pick up your game. You came here to be sent to jail so the Probation Service can go to you as you are not going to them."

Judge Lynch remanded Vella to reappear in court on September 6 to allow time for Vella to gain his licence.