Defence lawyer Mark Short said the alleged incident occurred during a tourism show where guests were laughing.
The defendant’s mother was offended by a comment made by one of the tourists – she thought they had passed a comment about her.
The elderly woman lashed out during the show, Short said, when the operator tried to calm her down.
The tourism operator called police to help calm his mother down, but was instead arrested, even though the mother did not have any bruises or injuries.
Short said the operator is the only caregiver of his senile mum.
“Police have not conducted a fair investigation. He still looks after his mother, and if he’s not there, no one can take care of her,” he said. “He’s taking responsibility for his mama.”
The man applied for police diversion. Short said that was because there was insufficient evidence from police, and it was unfortunate the tourists who were at the show was not here in the country to give evidence.
They were now waiting for an assessment from the mental health department on the elderly woman’s mental health, he said.
But Dr Rangi Fariu, who conducted the elderly mother’s assessment after the incident, was still in quarantine at the Edgewater Resort and Spa.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Fairoa Tararo said diversion had been declined and a mental health report would be needed for the elderly mum.
Justice of the Peace John Whitta adjourned the matter until June 11.