Man charged with arson over spate of Piha fires
Police have arrested a 19-year-old man for the Piha fires, Newsroom can exclusively reveal.
The man was arrested in Tauranga and will appear in court there tomorrow.
He will face three charges of arson relating to fires in the Piha area over a number of days, which culminated in a local fish and shop being destroyed.
It is understood that the man arrested is a long-time local, who had recently travelled to Tauranga.
It was also understood the man had asked to join the local volunteer fire brigade following the first spate of fires at the beginning of May.
Newsroom broke the story about the fires.
Since then, a total of 15 fires were lit. Fourteen were bush fires and one gutted the local fish and chip shop Adey's Place in the early hours of May 7.
Police said a “large number” of people were interviewed. Police presence was also bolstered in the area, especially late at night and early in the morning as that was when the fires were lit.
Police were expected to make a public statement later today.