Fresh bid to eject Stanton from CBD

STACEY KNOTT
Last updated 13:08 18/08/2014
Stanton
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
DEFIANCE: Nelson City Council says Lewis Stanton has repeatedly defied parking bylaws with his horse and cart.

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The Nelson City Council has applied for an injunction to stop Lewis Stanton, better known as Hone Ma Heke, parking his horse and cart in the Nelson central business district.

The council is going to the District Court seeking an injunction under section 162 of the Local Government Act restraining him from committing a breach of a bylaw or an offence against the act.

Nelson City Council chief executive Clare Hadley said Stanton had repeatedly defied the council bylaws on parking.

She said the council was "reluctant" to go to court over the issue but felt it had to.

"The council has sought to accommodate and compromise with Mr Stanton on a number of occasions, unfortunately those efforts, while once were successful for a short period, always end up being unsuccessful. Mr Stanton always chooses to flaunt the requirements of council bylaw - the parking and vehicle control bylaw."

She said the council found itself unable to enforce its own bylaws so was asking the court to have it enforced.

"He refuses to acknowledge the council's authority to create a timeframe for parking and his failure denies others to park in certain places and creates tension in the CBD."

She said the council was not "turning a blind eye" to Stanton. She wanted to ensure everyone was on the same playing field, under the same rules.

A notice of opposition to the injunction has been filed by lawyer Steven Zindel. "From Hone's point of view it's just another weapon and incident in years of harassment," Zindel said.

Speaking to the Nelson Mail from his usual Bridge St spot, Stanton said the council had been "threatening for a while, but when will they solve the problems they made in the first place?".

"I wouldn't be here in the CBD if they hadn't stopped me from going to Tahuna. They are violating my basic human rights."

He was referring to a court decision from July last year that banned him from giving horse and cart rides at Tahunanui Reserve without a permit.

He said that had affected his income, he had relied on koha from the rides.

"Now, I eat hand to mouth, I didn't used to have to feed my horse, he could graze."

Stanton, who accumulated more parking fines while he sat with his cart and horse Barney in Bridge St, has said he would not pay them as he considered them irrelevant.

He had more than $119,000 in infringements for his horse and cart.

He said the crux of the issue was that his horse and cart did not constitute a motor vehicle, so he should be exempt from the parking requirements and the fines.

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Stanton accused the council of "denying me my quality of life".

"We all have the right to live and freedom of movement and freedom of choice. Everyone has the right to protest and to protest against the system."

His notice of opposition says if an injunction was granted he would not be able to enter the CBD because all of his belongings were on the cart and he feared they might be interfered with or stolen.

The injunction would also prevent him from engaging with the wider community he spoke with in the CBD, and who he relied on for donations.

Stanton was sentenced to 400 hours' community service for $50,548 of his $110,000 in fines in March. However, he refused to complete any community service because he believed he should not have been ticketed in the first place.

A Corrections spokesperson had previously said a formal breach action could result in a further conviction, another sentence, or imprisonment.

A hearing for the injunction is set for September 11 in the Nelson District Court.

- The Nelson Mail

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