Hone's partner stands by her man

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012
Lewis Stanton
Bill Evans
HAPPY COUPLE: Lewis Stanton, aka Hone Ma Heke, with long term partner Jessica Gilroy.

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Lewis Stanton's long term partner has written to the council about his "harassment" saying his treatment his taken a physical and emotional toll on herself and Mr Stanton's mother.

Mr Stanton, who is also known as Hone Ma Heke, was trespassed from the Marsden Valley last week.

He broke the terms he could stay there by burying his toilet waste and having people to stay at the campsite near the Marsden Valley cemetery.

In a letter to the Nelson City Council last week Jessica Gilroy said she had camped overnight at Marsden Valley. She was the only one to stay there, although Mr Stanton also had people visit him there.

Ms Gilroy said she had been Mr Stanton's partner for 16 years and lived out of Nelson.

She visited Mr Stanton usually arriving on a Thursday night and left on a Monday afternoon. She said she only stayed there four nights, not a week and described the situation as "conjugal rights" in the letter to the council.

Mr Stanton, who gets around in a cart pulled by his brown horse Barney, protested in Trafalgar St, Nelson for 18 months over a disagreement with the city council.

The council is still exploring issuing Mr Stanton with a special permit to allow him to camp at four council reserves.

He had been camping at Marsden Valley, but since he was issued with a trespass notice at that site he has been seen camping at Pioneers Park and in Bishopdale.

Ms Gilroy said criticism of Mr Stanton's tent at Marsden Valley was incorrect as two of the tents were "half tents" that were used to cover and protect belongings.

Mr Stanton had never defecated in the creek as a member of the public complained to the council said.

Ms Gilroy said the "harassment of Hone has gone on for a very long time" and the media and the city council had not got its facts straight.

"Both the physical and emotional stress has personally taken its toll on myself and Hone's mother".

Mr Stanton has also signed a letter to the council, which appears to be in Ms Gilroy's handwriting.

In that letter he addresses "accusations" about his actions while camping at Marsden Valley.

One of the complaints was that there was a near-naked woman at the site, and Mr Stanton said he had never seen the woman and wished he had been alerted earlier so he could have had a look.

He said he buried his waste at the site as using the toilet at the cemetery was "not always an option when one is busting to get there".

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Carrying a bucket that distance to empty it was also not an option, he said.

Burying his waste was responsible, he said.

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