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However, he still has not spoken to his lawyer about charges laid by Maritime NZ over a trawler that grounded on a beach near Christchurch in 2019.
Atkinson appeared on driving matters before Judge Russell Cooper in the Hastings District Court today.
Discussion soon turned to an arrest warrant issued in the Christchurch District Court last month after it heard that Atkinson had been off the radar since September last year.
MNZ alleges Atkinson was the skipper of the 13m fishing trawler Debbie Jane when it ran aground on Waimairi Beach in December 2019.
News reports at the time said that Atkinson and two crew members were rescued and were treated in hospital for hypothermia.
Atkinson said today he had lost his phone, then changed his number, but he indicated he had not been trying to evade justice.
"I've been here all the time. I haven't been hiding. I live on a yacht over at West Shore [Napier]," he said.
However, he had not yet managed to talk to Starling about the case.
Judge Cooper remanded Atkinson on bail to appear in the Napier District Court on May 18.
He also advised him to get in touch with his lawyer.
The warrant to arrest was cancelled.
-By Ric Stevens
Open Justice multimedia journalist