Billy Te Kahika faces deception and electoral charges

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Former New Zealand Public Party leader Billy Te Kahika is facing deception and electoral charges.

By Jean Bell for rnz.co.nz

The matter was briefly heard over audio-visual link at the Auckland District Court today, where Te Kahika's interim name suppression lapsed.

Te Kahika was accused of filing a false candidate donations return, filing a false candidate expenses return, and failing to retain records verifying the return of candidate donations and election expenses under the Electoral Act.

He also faced charges relating to obtaining $5000 by deception and causing Michael Stuart Kelly a loss of $10,000 under the Crimes Act.

The alleged offending occurred between July 2020 to February 2021, according to charging documents obtained by RNZ.

Te Kahika faces a trial by jury.

The charges follow the Electoral Commission considering a complaint about Te Kahika and the New Zealand Public Party in September 2020. The investigation was later dropped.