25 Aug 2014

Crash charges possible, Harawira says

8:45 am on 25 August 2014

The police are considering charging Hone Harawira with dangerous driving after he crashed his car in Northland last week, the Mana Movement leader says.

Hone Harawira

Hone Harawira Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Harawira crashed his car in the Mangamuka Gorge on Thursday.

He said the crash had left him with cuts and bruises but he still did not know what caused him to lose control.

"I must have sneezed or coughed or something but all of a sudden - I was heading home through the Mangamuka Gorge and the next thing I know I'm heading into the bushes, the car flipped and went straight down the bank, on its roof, and crashed into the tree before it went into the river.

"I'm very lucky, actually, to have come out of it alive."

Mr Harawira said he had met the police but had not heard anything more about charges. However, he was disappointed they were considering charging him over the crash when they were yet to conclude an investigation into shots being fired into his Kaitaia office.

"They rang me to say that they were thinking of charging me with dangerous driving. I'm not exactly sure because I was pretty tired when they rang ... but I do recall them saying something about charging me with dangerous driving."

The police had interviewed him within 24 hours of the crash, he said.

"I said 'look boys, I've got nothing to say, no offence to you guys, but you might want to go back and tell the officer in charge of the Kaitaia police station that if they want to come and talk to me about who shot up my office, I'm willing to talk, and then after that we might want to talk about the accident.

"In terms of priorities, it would seem to me that six weeks after my office got shot up is a little bit long to be leaving it."

The police have said they visited Mr Harawira's office within an hour of the shooting being reported and found three small shatter holes fired from a slug gun. There had been similar incidents around Kaitaia and they therefore did not believe Mr Harawira's office was specifically targetted.

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