Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is preparing to defend himself at the Auckland District Court this afternoon, on charges of failing to remove his car during a demonstration in Glen Innes against the removal of state houses.
Mr Harawira was arrested on 11 October and pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court the following week.
The Mana Party leader says he feels insulted by the pettiness of the charge - failure to remove a vehicle from a road - which comes with a maximum penalty of a fine.
He says he was there to show his support after concerns police would assault three women who were sitting on a roof.
“I heard the story about them being beaten up in the dark (the previous week) I thought ‘never again.’ So I parked my car in front of a truck, one so it couldn’t move and two to shine the lights on these women up on the house, I didn’t want anything happening to them in the dark. The police come along, started bullying everybody around and tried to get me to move. I didn’t hear what they were saying, I had my radio on, and they started waving at me through the window, I just ignored them. Next thing I know my window is smashed and they are hauling me out and arresting me,” Mr Harawira says.