22 Aug 2009

Evicted group calls law satanic

5:57 am on 22 August 2009

A group being evicted from a building in the Northland town of Kaikohe says the law is satanic.

The High Court in Whangarei has upheld a decision by the Kaikohe District Court to evict Nga Uri of Tupoto which is claiming Maori customary rights to the building on the town's main street

The group was fighting against a district court order confirming Glenn Hannah as the legal owner of the building on Broadway. The Australian businessman bought the property in April in a mortgagee sale and took legal action when the squatters refused to leave.

The Kaikohe District Court in July affirmed Mr Hannah's right to evict the squatters. The group filed further action in the High Court and was granted a stay of the eviction notice, while a judge reviewed its claims.

In court on Friday, Nga Uri of Tupoto cited various clauses from the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as the Land Transfer Act and Property Act.

Mr Hannah's lawyer said the group's legal arguments were nonsensical and much of what was said had no legal basis.

Justice Duffy dismissed the appeal and declined to impose a further stay of eviction.

Nga Uri of Tupoto's spokesperson Tass Davis says the outcome was the result of his hapu's behaviour in court. He called the law satanic, and says the group will take its case to the Court of Appeal.