An arrest warrant has been issued for a faith healer who has failed to turn up for five consecutive days of his indecency trial in Napier District Court.
Nga Teiri, of Auckland, also known as Nga Teina, faces 20 charges of indecently assaulting women over the age of 16.
The court has been told the charges involve eight complainants, from Hastings, Tokoroa and Ōtara.
Teiri was due to face a jury trial starting in the Napier court on Monday, but failed to show. Efforts to find him and bring him to the court through the week were unsuccessful.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
A jury of seven men and five women was sworn in on Tuesday to reduce the inconvenience to the other 24 members of the jury pool.
Judge Bridget Mackintosh told them "we are doing our best to ensure the trial will proceed".
However, on Friday morning, Judge Macintosh said Teiri's whereabouts were still unknown and the trial would be abandoned. The jury had been discharged.
"We will just have to await the arrest of the defendant," the judge said.
She said when Teiri was picked up, the court would make a plan for the trial to go ahead.
"I'm sorry we have wasted a week, Your Honour," defence counsel Philip Jensen said.
"Yes, I am too," the judge replied.