The MP for Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston initially appeared in the registrar list where he was remanded on bail to appear in the Manukau District Court today.
Nicholas faces a charge that “He dishonestly and without claim of right but not so as to be guilty of theft”, took a rental vehicle.
The vehicle concerned is estimated to be worth $40,000.
Nicholas is believed to have engaged a private counsel.
The troubled MP returned to Rarotonga in December for a brief visit.
He had been away in New Zealand following his re-election last year in June; and subsequently lost his ministerial position to Vaine “Mac” Mokoroa.
Speaking with Cook Islands News on his arrival last year in early December, Nicholas said, “this year hasn’t been a good year for me; as soon as 2018 started, there were a number of health issues.”
“At the beginning, it was a real concern but it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it kind of picked up other things at the beginning stage … which helped to address it before it became a real concern.
“Somehow 2018 has been nothing but hospitals for me.”
He also said then, it was pointless for him to remain in Rarotonga and continue in his position while dealing with his health issues.
Nicholas said serving people gave him great joy and he would love to continue to work for his community. But he added with his current state of health, he would consider the future of his job as a parliamentarian.
“2018 has been a year where I have considered my life more than anything or anyone. If it required me to leave my job and position here, I would do it any day because it’s a matter of being alive.
“I never wanted this job but what I did enjoy doing is doing stuff for people. It gave me joy serving and working for them.”
It is understood Nicholas departed Rarotonga in early January.