Photo / Bevan Conley

Photo / Bevan Conley

Maori sovereignty protest closes court

Maori sovereignty protests over a woman’s court case for fraud shut down the Hawera District Court on Tuesday (July 28).

After her supporters had packed the court’s public gallery and refused to remove a Maori sovereignty flag, Kiri Campbell was photographed – screaming as she was pushed into a waiting police car –  by the Wanganui  Chronicle newspaper.

Two days later, Campbell, aged 32, pleaded guilty to four fraud charges. She admitted to using a document for pecuniary advantage when she appeared at the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday. No plea was entered for a fifth charge.

The court heard how Campbell had used fraudulent cheques at five South Taranaki businesses in July, including at two car dealerships.

On the Tuesday, the Hawera Court gallery had been cleared by police and court security, although no arrests were made, and the court later resumed.

According to a Chronicle report, a Facebook page called ‘Free Kiri Campbell’ had a ‘wanted’ poster for Judge Roberts and posted critical comments for refusing to hear the case in the Hawera court when the flag was in the gallery.

Another post said Campbell was not involved with the Maori sovereignty movement and placed media ‘on notice’ for “continued participation in concealing the crimes against the people of this land.”

Original story on the Herald website here

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