A man facing multiple drugs charges after the Kawerau police raids refused to enter the audio-visual booth at Waikeria Prison.

Starlight Manuel, 34, was expected to enter the booth when his name was called in the Tauranga District Court yesterday.

But instead, the image of the booth on the courtroom screen remained empty, and the court was told Manuel had refused to enter.

His lawyer Bruce Hesketh entered not guilty pleas on the seven methamphetamine and cannabis charges.

Advertisement

Manuel was remanded in custody until June 29 for the case review hearing.

Hesketh said it might be appropriate to bring Manuel to Tauranga for the hearing.

Judge John Macdonald asked why Manuel refused to enter the booth.

Hesketh replied: ''It is not something I want to discuss in open court.''

Judge Macdonald said proceedings would be carried out by audio-visual link on June 29.

The police raids were carried out in Kawerau and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty last month as part of Operation Notus.

Six other accused appeared on screen in the courtroom to be remanded to June 29 for the case review hearing. They all chose trial by jury.

Raymond Stephen Savage, 60, pleaded not guilty to three methamphetamine charges and was remanded in custody.

Advertisement

Michael Herbert, of Taneatua, pleaded not guilty to five drugs charges including three involving methamphetamine, and Crystal Ohlson, 41, denied three methamphetamine charges. Both were remanded in custody.

Tania Tangira, 35, denied four methamphetamine charges and was remanded in custody, pending an electronic monitoring bail application.

Bail applications were also lodged for Slobodan Milosevic, 27, and his father Frank Milosevic who the court was told was a Mongrel Mob chapter president. They had earlier pleaded not guilty and were yesterday remanded to June 29.

The court's public gallery held many family and friends of the Milosevic whanau, who waved to and greeted the men who could see them from the prison booth via the video link.

Frank Milosevic, 49, faced 17 charges related to methamphetamine and cannabis while Slobodan faced 13 methamphetamine and cannabis charges.

Not guilty pleas were also entered by Tracy-Lee Enoka, 49, on two cannabis charges and Nicky Chase, 51, on three cannabis and methamphetamine charges and one charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Irene Raki, 50, pleaded not guilty to one charge of engaging in a money-laundering transaction and Nathan Wiremu Waikato, 40, pleaded not guilty to one charge of cultivating cannabis. Bail was continued for both to June 29.

Matthew Rawiri Watson, of Whakatane, who made his first court appearance yesterday, pleaded not guilty to four methamphetamine and cannabis charges. In what was described as ''slightly unusual'' given the quantities of drugs involved, he had been allowed to remain in the community until the charges were laid.

He had been serving community detention on charges that preceded the raid, including a 9am to 6pm curfew. Judge Macdonald continued the curfew and imposed bail conditions that included a non-association order for some other accused in the raids.

Nikki Roddick, 37, charged with four methamphetamine and cannabis offences, also made her first appearance and was remanded on bail to May 15 for plea. A night-time curfew and non-association order were imposed.

Bail was continued for Te Ohorere Milosevic, 26, who was charged with cultivating cannabis and Keith Pryor, 45, who faced four methamphetamine and cannabis charges.

Also appearing yesterday for remand to June 29 was Raiha Tawera, 29, who faced one charge of engaging in a money-laundering transaction. Aiden Ohlson, 38, in custody awaiting an electronic monitored bail application, was remanded on four methamphetamine charges.

Bail continued for Cameron Koopu, of Kawerau, who was on six methamphetamine and cannabis charges, and for Phillip Walter Tangira, 38, on three methamphetamine charges.

Sharmin Te Riini, of Whakatane, was remanded to June 29 on two methamphetamine charges, on continued bail.