A local body elections candidate accused of assault has had a bid for name suppression denied but has indicated they will appeal the decision to the High Court.
The accused, who is contesting an election in Hawke's Bay, appeared in Hastings District Court this morning. They are accused of assaulting a Lotto shop staff member in March over a dispute about whether the candidate had paid for a Lotto ticket.
The candidate disputed an allegation by police that they were drunk at the time of the alleged assault, saying it was "completely untrue". They claimed the alleged assault occurred because the complainant would not hand over a Lotto ticket the candidate claimed to have paid for.
The candidate, who was not represented by a lawyer, was offered diversion on two occasions but declined both times because they did not wish to admit the offence.
This morning the candidate told Judge Tony Adeane the charge would be "strenuously defended" and said they wanted a continued order for interim name suppression.
The candidate said the matter had caused "a great deal of anguish, depression for which I'm being treated, and sleeplessness".
Judge Adeane said in order to continue the order the court would need to be satisfied that not to do so would cause extreme hardship.
"[The candidate's] principal basis for seeking continuing interim suppression is that to do otherwise would be inconvenient... given [the candidate's] political ambitions. That, with respect, is not sufficient grounds," the judge said.
He said the presumption of innocence remained. He lifted the order and set a date in November for a hearing on the charge.
The candidate made to leave the court then returned to say they intended to appeal the decision.
Judge Adeane told them to see the court registrar and fill out the required paperwork.
The candidate now has 20 working days to file an appeal, which would be heard by the High Court.
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