The police are persisting with a
manslaughter charge against a street racer who killed the mother of
ACT election candidate Aaron Keown and triggered a campaign for
harsher sentences.

Mr Keown was in Christchurch District Court this afternoon to see
the latest appearance by 25-year-old Arcanie Vincent Optetaia Matagi
who has pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving causing
death, Christchurch Court News website reported.

Although he has admitted that replacement charge, the original
manslaughter charge still exists and last week Judge Michael Crosbie
gave the police and the crown until today to decide what they want
to do.

Defence counsel Allister Davis said the police application was
not quite what the judge had directed but he would just run along
with what was being sought.

Police prosecutor Nigel Wolland then explained that the police
had been taking advice from the crown over the charge and it was
intended that the manslaughter charge would continue.

But under the legislation an application needed to be made to set
aside the dangerous driving causing death charge so the manslaughter
charge could proceed.

Judge Stephen Erber granted the police request for a remand on
the manslaughter charge to November 25, when Matagi is due to be

Matagi has admitted crashing while racing with another car along
the Main North Road and causing the death of Laureen Helen Reilly on
May 6.

Mr Keown yesterday took part in a march through central
Christchurch by the families and friends of crime victims and those
pressing for harsher sentences.