Man refused to give blood, citing Maori law

A Riversdale man refused to give a blood sample to police because he said he was bound by Maori law not New Zealand law, the Blenheim District Court heard on Tuesday.

Judge Stephen Harrop told Joel Twain McVay that he was almost certainly going to prison after McVay admitted his 19th charge of driving while disqualified and his fourth of refusing to give blood following the incident in October.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Harris said McVay, 34, also burnt all his ex-partner's clothing and hit her, because he was frustrated with her.

In court, McVay admitted charges of driving while disqualified, refusing to give blood, assault and wilful damage and was remanded for sentence on February 11.

Mr Harris said the driving charges arose from an incident when McVay tried to evade police while driving in Wakefield Quay in Nelson about 2.05am on October 28.

Officers had spoken to a very drunk McVay earlier in the evening and after confirming he had been driving they took him to the Nelson police station, where he refused to give a breath sample or blood sample, he said.

McVay told the officers New Zealand law did not cover him and he abided by Maori law, Mr Harris said.

Later he told a nurse who came to take the blood sample "there are protocols around Tikanga Maori and you don't know how to do it".

The assault and wilful damage charges came from an incident on September 11 while McVay was living with his then-partner at a backpackers in Seddon.