BS 19 Coronavirus Delta Outbreak: Billy TK Banned From Internet but Gets Bail
By John Weekes
The conspiracy theorists charged in yesterday’s anti-lockdown protest outside TVNZ headquarters have appeared in an Auckland court and been banned from the internet.
William Desmond Te Kahika, known as Billy Te Kahika or Billy TK, faced two charges of intentionally failing to comply with the Covid-19 alert level requirements.
Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf at Auckland District Court and he will next appear in court on October 13.
Police also charged Te Kahika, 49, with failing to assist a constable exercising search powers under the Search and Surveillance Act.
Te Kahika was arrested about 43 minutes after anti-lockdown activists and Covid-19 deniers gathered in Auckland CBD to protest the snap lockdown.
The former political candidate from Whangārei appeared in court before Judge Peter Winter.
The charge of failing to assist under the Search and Surveillance Act has a maximum penalty of three months’ imprisonment.
Te Kahika’s bail conditions are to live at a Hokianga address, which he can only leave for attending his next court appearance, or for pre-arranged meetings with his lawyer.
He is not to access the internet or possess any internet-capable device.
Te Kahika was also banned from meeting two alleged associates.
One of those two is protester Vincent Christopher John Eastwood, known as Vinny, who was also arrested outside TVNZ.
Eastwood, 36, appeared before the judge by videolink.
The Green Bay man faced three charges of the same types Te Kahika was charged with.
He was remanded on bail without plea to September 10.
He can only leave his West Auckland bail address for court matters, and must comply with Covid-19 restrictions as part of his bail conditions.
Eastwood was banned from contacting Te Kahika and the other alleged associate.
He was also banned from possessing any internet-capable device, banned from accessing the internet, and banned from entering Auckland CBD.
He can only visit downtown Auckland now for legal appointments.
The Bail Act prohibits publication of many other details from today’s hearings.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster yesterday confirmed four people were arrested at the gathering outside TVNZ.