Enquiries on-going into assault on 69yo Hamilton koroua

By James Perry

A 69-year-old koroua was assaulted last night in Hamilton after asking his neighbours to quieten down their party. 

Tiwai Watene says he didn't mind that his neighbours were having a party. Dancing, singing, "things people do".

"They were having a good time I take it. Until I heard the swearing and the yelling and screaming and that's when I asked him to could they please cut - tone it down a bit." 

His requests went unheard. Until, he says, he raised his own voice to once again ask they tone down the language. That's when things soon turned ugly, with one of the partygoers allegedly jumping the fence to stand face to face with Watene in his own backyard.

"I said 'look, all I wanted you was to cut the noise down. And I asked you three-four times - three times and the fourth time I yelled at them the fourth time and that's all I wanted'. He goes 'oh, who gives you the right to friggin, you know yell at us?' And it carried it on like that.

'He was nose to nose with me and I wasn't going to back down from him. And we just kept talking and next minute he turned around and just punched me," Watene says.

Police confirmed to Te Ao Māori they were called to the address, and a 34-year-old man was taken into custody. Watene believes the alleged assailant did not live at the address, and said the residents of the house have assured him the man will not be welcomed back in the future. 

Te Ao Māori sought comment from the neighbours who did wish to speak. Tiwai Watene says two females, including a resident of the house came to his rescue quickly and prevented any further attack.

"He was going to come in for another punch and the girls jumped over the fence and one of them was the owner of the house and they say "hey leave him alone. He's an old man," Watene said.

The attack left Watene shaken, and he was taken to the hospital by police with a swollen jaw and fears he may have fractured a bone. X-Rays revealed he did not have any serious injuries.

Tiwai admits that he may have contributed to increasing tensions by yelling, and feels lucky that it didn't end any worse.

"The [hospital] said the only thing they were worried about was a little bit up here [side of his head] that could be broken, but I won't need the jaw thinged up, but it would mend by itself. 

"In reality I was really lucky to come out of it like that," he said.

Late this afternoon, Police again confirmed the arrest of a male, but have not yet confirmed what, if any charges will be laid.

Tiwai Watene says the occupants of the house have apologised to over the incident.