Nelson protester Lewis Stanton may soon end his protest and be reunited with his horse and cart, but he is asking the Nelson City Council to pay his wages for a few weeks first.
On Friday, Mr Stanton was bailed on two charges of obstruction of a footpath. He will be back in court on August 24, after the result of an appeal to the High Court on a previous conviction for obstruction is known.
His bail conditions mean he is able to continue his protest, but he must do so on the outside edge of the footpath in front of the Farmers store in Trafalgar St, away from the cover of the verandah.
Defence lawyer Steven Zindel has also been lobbying the council on Mr Stanton's behalf, and on Friday he sent an email outlining Mr Stanton's latest requests.
Mr Stanton wanted his cart seat repaired, his horse Barney reshod - with tungsten-tipped shoes - and a saddle repaired, Mr Zindel said. He also requested up to three weeks to retrain Barney for traffic.
While this transition occurred, and Mr Stanton was not able to earn money from travelling around in his horse and cart, he was requesting $100 per week, for up to three weeks, towards compensation for the loss of his livelihood brought about by the conversion of his chattels 18 months ago.
Mr Stanton reserved his rights to camp anywhere, Mr Zindel said.
As the city's freedom camping bylaw "sunsetted" on August 30, the council might not be able to stop him freedom camping until a new lawful bylaw was promulgated, he said.
Council executive manager network services Alec Louverdis said the council had repeatedly said it would give Mr Stanton his horse and cart back. There had been some damage to the cart and saddle, and the council would repair those items, and was also prepared to reshoe the horse.
Mr Louverdis said he would be meeting with the council's lawyers today to discuss Mr Stanton's other demands, including compensation.
The next step would be meeting with Mr Stanton's lawyers and police to see if there could be a way to resolve the situation.
Mr Louverdis said Mr Stanton was saying he did not want a special permit to camp on council land, which was something councillors were considering.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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