12 Dec 2014

'Horse and cart' man jailed

7:06 pm on 12 December 2014

Nelson's infamous horse and cart man has been jailed for two months for breaching community work requirements.

Lewis Stanton.

Lewis Stanton. Photo: RNZ / Alison Hossain

Lewis Reginald Stanton, also known as Hone Ma Heke, frequently parked his horse-drawn vehicle in the central city.

Stanton, who has been in ongoing disputes with the Nelson City Council for nearly 14 years, was sentenced in March to 400 hours of community work for failing to pay more than $50,000 for traffic infringements, mostly parking fines.

But he refused to do community work and failed eight times to report to the probation office.

He claims the council has violated his human rights by enforcing restrictions on his alternative lifestyle.

Sentencing him, Judge Denys Barry told him he had engineered the situation he now finds himself in, by deliberately closing the door on any community-based sentence.

Lewis Stanton said he would be appealing the decision.

He said it was about the bigger picture.

"It's about standing up for people's rights, not just my rights but other people's rights as well, because if the Nelson City Council is allowed to get away with doing what they're doing then they'll be doing the same to everybody else - and if the Nelson City Council can get away with it, so too will every other council."

His horse will be looked after by friends while he is in prison.

Earlier this week, a High Court judge quashed an injunction taken out by the city council to stop him entering the central city, saying it was unnecessary, partly because there was a process and bylaws to deal with parking infringements.