A father has today admitted abducting his young son from
Dunedin and driving away at speeds of up to 170km/h north of
Wayne Anthony Jonathon Houpapa, 30, took his child from his
mother's home in Dunedin on July 8 and began driving to North
Canterbury where he was working as a shearer.
Police were called, and were concerned over threats he had
made to harm himself.
Houpapa was tracked just north of Christchurch hours later
and was caught speeding at 170km/h.
Shocked officers trailed him without engaging in a dangerous
high-speed pursuit to an Amberley property where he was
Houpapa had earlier admitted breaching protection orders by
texting the mother of his children over getting access to see
Today at the Christchurch District Court, Houpapa admitted
charges of abduction and dangerous driving.
Defence counsel Andrew Bailey said the imposition of a
protection order had sparked a "panicked" Houpapa's actions.
Mr Bailey said Houpapa now knows the proper channels to use
in arranging contact with his children.
Police today opposed granting him bail before he was
sentenced on October 28 over fears that he would again try to
contact the children's mother.
But Judge Jane Farish granted him bail with conditions that
he doesn't travel south of the Rangitata river in South
Canterbury, to live in Waiau, and not to make contact
directly or indirectly with his former partner or children
unless authorised by the family court.
Judge Farish said it was unlikely that Houpapa would receive
a custodial sentence, unless he reoffended while on bail.
The judge told him that while she appreciated getting access
to his children could be "frustrating at times", he would
have to go through the correct channels.
- Kurt Bayer of APNZ