'Guardian of the lake' attacked

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 09:51 08/11/2012

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Horowhenua Mail

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Levin's Philip Taueki and his sister Vivienne Taueki claim they have been vilified and now physically attacked as town rumours circulate implying they were behind the recent vandalism at the Horowhenua Rowing Club.

Mr Taueki told the Horowhenua Mail they "do not have any idea who did it".

"My family is under threat and portrayed as villains, yet we've displayed strong discipline to put up with all this persecution."

Mr Taueki said the worst incident was when two men with connections to the rowing club arrived at Mrs Taueki's house on the morning of October 17 and despite repeatedly being asked to leave used threatening behaviour before a scuffle broke out.

"They were punching both me and Viv. I got a bloody nose and bruises and Viv ended up with bruises."

Mrs Taueki said she was "shattered" by the incident. "I still call it a home invasion, even though they didn't come inside.

"But now I've got my kids asking why that man hit me."

The Tauekis were also disappointed no arrests had been made after three weeks.

Senior Sergeant Willie Roy told the Mail that an arrest was imminent now that appropriate charges had been determined.

Mr Roy said any crime reported to the police was treated seriously.

"With a case like this we need to make sure we've got things right, even if it may seem to take some time."

Regarding the Horowhenua Rowing Club vandalism, Detective Sergeant Peter Vine said police were continuing to "actively investigate" the damage caused at the club, which included holes stabbed in 75 boats stored inside.

Mr Vine said there were several "persons of interest" to be spoken with, a large number of inquiries had been completed and more were being carried out.

Mrs Taueki said her brother was not involved.

"I absolutely know he didn't do it. I know him and if he did do it, he'd be the first person to say he was responsible."

Mr Taueki, who has been fighting a legal battle with authorities over ownership of Lake Horowhenua, was last month fined for assaulting a kayaker at the lake and for threatening to injure with intent to intimidate. He was also charged with disorderly behaviour after allegedly verbally abusing Mayor Brendan Duffy at the recent working bee to clean up vandalism at the sailing and rowing clubs.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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