Mana leader Hone Harawira says he is "embarrassed" by the charge he faces after being arrested in a housing protest in Auckland.
Harawira told TV ONE's Breakfast he had "no intention of getting involved" in the protest last night but was inspired by some of the young people trying to prevent the removal of a state house in Glen Innes.
"There were these three young women sat on top of the house in the middle of a cold night and I thought to myself 'that's bloody awesome' - that they would do that to try and protect their community, and I thought the least I could do was just sit in my car and support them," he said.
Police said Harawira had parked a car in the driveway, which obstructed the truck and trailer which was removing the house. They said they made several appeals for Harawira to move, including holding written signs up to his window, but in the end had no option but to remove him from the vehicle.
"They started waving at me so I just turned up my radio and listened to some music," Harawira said, "and then next thing you know they pop the back window and pulled me out."
Police said they used a "glass entry device" from a tow truck to get in to Harawira's car and pull him out and arrest him.
"It's kind of embarrassing, it's not a serious charge, I don't even know if it's a real charge, it's called 'failure to remove a vehicle from a road' which I've never heard of before," Harawira said.
Harawira was one of seven protesters arrested during the action last night.
Three other protesters were also arrested at the same time for obstruction, while later on, three others who had been on the roof of the house were charged with obstruction and wasting police time.
They were all released on police bail and six of the group will appear in Auckland District Court next week, while one of the protesters will just be cautioned.
The protests have been going on for several months since Housing New Zealand began work to redevelop 156 properties in the Tamaki and Glen Innes area.
Around half of the new properties will be built by private developers in a move that critics claim is pulling apart the community.
"I can guarantee you not one of those Glen Innes families will be able to afford to move into those homes and from what I understand about the housing corp houses they won't be able to afford to move into those either," Harawira said.
'Our tenants are actually very happy'
However, Sean Bignell from Housing New Zealand said tenants had been generally co-operative and many had wanted to leave the area quickly.
"Our tenants are actually very happy, the people who are making the most noise are the agitators and activists," he told Breakfast.
"We've had circumstances in some of the early protests where one of the protesters got a lift from the local police because she didn't know her way out of the suburb, so are these people really connected to the community?"
Bignell said there will be 78 Housing New Zealand properties in the new development, 40 of which will be aimed at first time buyers. He said the rest will have a range of price and values similar to other suburbs.
"Today we hold 57% of houses in the area and that is not a good balance for the rest of the community.
"If you ask private landlords and private renters what would they like to see, they want to see a community that is more balanced with a good range of people which is how we all grew up."
Bignell said many of the homes they are removing are three bedrooms houses built in the fifties and sixties which did not suit modern families. He added 1400 homes were being built around Auckland in the next five years to meet with growing population demands.