Man appears in auckland high court over Taimani's death

Lovey Taimani died when this car hit a lighting pole near the East Tamaki off-ramp on the Auckland-Southern Motorway. (NZME./ Sam Sword)

by Rob Kidd (NZherald)

An alleged drink driver responsible for the death of one of his passengers has appeared in the High Court at Auckland more than seven months after the smash.

Papatoetoe man Hingano Anamanu Kala’uta, 22, is accused of manslaughter following the first road death of 2015, but pleaded not guilty this morning.

The car he was driving hit a lighting pole on the Southern Motorway in Auckland at 6.15am on New Year’s Day.

Lavi “Lovey” Taimani, 22, died at the scene, while four of the other six passengers were also hospitalised with injuries.

As well as the manslaughter charge, Kala’uta faces four counts of drink driving causing injury.

According to court documents, a blood test gave a reading of 85mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

At the time the limit was 80.

Defence lawyer Nalesoni Tupou said it was “a very complicated matter”.

Kala’uta was remanded on bail until September.

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