Car wrecked while activist in cells

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 12:00 14/02/2013

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Lake Horowhenua activist Philip Taueki will have to use a bicycle after his car was vandalised the night he was behind bars.

Taueki, an outspoken defender of Lake Horowhenua, was arrested on Monday night after an alleged altercation with a group of kayakers at the lake between 6pm and 7pm.

He was charged with possession of an offensive weapon, assault with a weapon and speaking threateningly and spent the night in the cells before appearing in the Levin District Court on Tuesday.

Taueki said his car was parked directly outside his house and appeared to have been attacked with a weapon. Every panel was dented, and all the windows broken, including the headlights.

To get to his car, any offender would have had to cut through a chain blocking the entrance to his property.

He said the attack was obviously malicious, and he believed his home would have been broken into too if it were not for his dogs.

Taueki said he believed the attack was carried out by someone who knew he was in the cells overnight.

The car was not insured, and he could not afford another one, he said.

He would probably have to turn to a bicycle to get around.

"[The car] was my only form of transport, it's going to be a major inconvenience."

Taueki said there might be footage of the attackers on security cameras at the nearby Lake Horowhenua Rowing Club. They were installed after rowing boats owned by the club were vandalised last year.

Taueki's partner Anne Hunt said the attack was a sign tensions over Lake Horowhenua were "escalating".

Levin Sergeant Derek Turvey said police were interested in hearing from anyone who saw anything suspicious near Taueki's home on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

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- Manawatu Standard

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