Maori king's son appeal date set

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 09:33 29/08/2014
Paki
DISCHARGED: Korotangi Paki appears in the Auckland District Court on charges of theft and Drink Driving in July.

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The Crown's appeal against the Maori king's son being let off drink driving and theft charges will be heard in November.

Korotangi Paki, 19, was discharged without conviction in the Auckland District Court last month on two counts of burglary, one of theft and one of drink driving. 

His case was called in the High Court in Auckland today where Justice Murray Gilbert set a hearing date of November 17.

The discharge was awarded after Paki's lawyer Paul Wicks, QC, argued a conviction could bar Paki from ascending the Maori throne.

Potential successors to the Maori throne had to have an unblemished record because of the custodial responsibilities involved as king.

''The chiefs around the country are often heard to say [heirs to the throne] have to be 'whiter than the dove','' Wicks said at the time.

The discharge was widely criticised when it was announced by Judge Philippa Cunningham.

Last month, Crown Law Office media adviser Jan Fulstow said an appeal of the sentence had been laid after "a very thorough review" by senior counsel.

The drink-driving offence took place on October 20 last year. Paki had been stopped on a Gisborne street at 2.15am, and a breath test gave a reading of 761. The current limit for drivers under the age of 20 is zero.

Paki's three co-accused in the theft and burglary were each fined $400 and discharged without conviction when they appeared in Gisborne District Court last month.

The four pleaded guilty to a March incident where they stole surfboards from a holiday park and items and clothing from a car.

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