Man charged with Piha arsons keeps his name secret


A teenager charged with arson has appeared in the Tauranga District Court over a spate of fires in Piha over the weekend.

Fires began in the small seaside settlement about 1.30am and other fires began to pop up as firefighters struggled with the first.
Source: 1 NEWS

The 19-year-old has been charged with arson and burglary and has been granted interim name suppression.

Early Sunday morning emergency services were called to a fire at Adey's place, a local fish and chip shop in Piha, and two other fires in the area.

Today defence counsel for the accused argued the teenager shouldn't be named following threatening behaviour on social media.

Meanwhile police will continue to investigate other fires in the area, but are not looking for anyone else over to the fires and say further charges may be laid.

The teen entered no plea and has been remanded in custody. He will also be facing a burglary charge.

Police say there have been at least 15 suspicious fires around Piha in the past fortnight.

He will reappear in an Auckland court next week.

Inspector Scott Webb, Waitakere Police Area Commander, said "Piha is a tight knit community and we understand this has been a stressful time for residents".

"Police would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding," he said.

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