Exclusive: Auckland mayoral candidate five times the limit after rear-ending mother and kids

Luke Appleby
Source: 1News

An Auckland mayoral candidate was convicted of driving with five times the blood alcohol limit after a crash in which police say he rear-ended a mother with two kids in her car.

Adam John Holland, 25, announced in a press release on March 11 that he was standing for mayor of Auckland on what could be described as a satirical platform.

A few weeks later on April 28, Mr Holland appeared at Te Kuiti District Court charged with driving with excess blood alcohol and failing to stop and ascertain injury (non-injury crash) after an incident on Te Kumi Rd near Te Kuiti on March 30.

The Police Summary of Facts says Mr Holland drove into the rear of a Nissan being driven by a mother, who was stationary waiting to turn into a driveway.

Her two children, aged 10 and 1, were also in the car.

"The defendant drove his vehicle directly into the rear of the Nissan causing extensive damage to the vehicle," the document reads.

"The defendant then drove up alongside the Nissan and pointed his finger at the driver before driving off north onto State Highway 3."

Mr Holland was then found by Police standing in front of the wrecked Mazda he was driving, and he opted for an evidential blood test which produced a result of 259mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - the limit is 50mg/100ml.

On July 28 he was convicted of both charges and sentenced to 150 hours of community service, nine months of supervision and he was disqualified from driving indefinitely.

His conviction came during the window for mayoral race nominations, which ran from July 15 to August 12 - Mr Holland entered and campaigned for Auckland Legalise Cannabis, gaining a total of 1772 votes in the final results.

He rose to prominence last month after he was filmed repeatedly yelling "Allahu Akbar!" during a candidates meeting at an Auckland student bar, while fellow candidates tussled in front of the stage.

Holland unrepentant, was 'abused by the law'

Posting on his Facebook page about 1 News Now's request for his court records, Mr Holland said he disagreed with the alcohol limits while driving and said the crash was not his fault.

"Everybody has a DIC charge these days ... the limit is absolutely pathetic," he wrote.

"Only a lightweight can't handle 400[mcg of alcohol per litre of breath]."

The legal breath alcohol limit for drivers over the age of 20 is 250mcg/l, after being dropped from 400mcg/l in December 2014.

"I blew 1054 and felt fine - the crash wasn't even my fault and if I could relive the events, I'd have acted in exactly the same way."

He also took aim at the "bull**** proceedings", and said he had been "abused by the law".

"I wasn't even caught whilst operating the motor vehicle ... keys were out of the ignition and I was outside the car drinking Grant's scotch whisky as I'm prone to panic attacks.

"I'd easily have pulled under 400 if it weren't for the hip flask defense, but still, 400 is nothing especially for a guy [whose] GABA receptors are so ****ed from benzo abuse."

Now considering leaving the country - without completing his sentence

Mr Holland told 1 News Now "the joke's on the judge if I decide to leave for the motherland (England)," and when asked whether that meant leaving without completing his sentence, he replied "of course".

"As a sovereign British citizen, I have every right to return. I've also contemplated seeking asylum at the British high commission in Wellington."

Mr Holland also told 1 News Now that he had only drunk whisky for pain relief after being involved in the crash.

"I drank 80 proof whisky shortly after the crash as I had no other painkillers available and was arrested outside my vehicle without my keys in the ignition," he said.

"I understand many flaws in drink drive laws ... they put many of us into lose-lose situations, it's for this reason I plead guilty, but only in the legal sense.

"I'm not guilty and I'll begrudgingly serve my time in the community or even return to England for good."

No criminal background checks for council candidates

An Auckland Council spokesperson told 1 News Now that it's the public's job to decide who can run for office - not the council's.

"No background checks are undertaken (or required to be undertaken) on any candidates standing for office," the spokesperson said in an email. 

"So a person with a criminal record can in fact stand (and potentially be elected) to office.

"The only requirement to stand for local public office is to be a NZ citizen and a Parliamentary elector (section 25 Local Electoral Act 2001).

"There used to be additional requirements (eg cannot be an undischarged bankrupt) but these were removed many years ago."