24 Nov 2010

Contest cancellation disappoints Far North mayor

8:55 pm on 24 November 2010

Far North Mayor Wayne Brown says he is bitterly disappointed at the cancellation of a popular fishing contest because of a Ngati Kahu occupation at Taipa.

Lions clubs in the area have decided not to hold their Anniversary weekend competition at Taipa Point because of the risk of disruption by protesters.

Mr Brown says community organisations such as Coastguard will lose thousands of dollars in funding from the annual fishing contest because of Ngati Kahu's actions.

But the Taipa occupation leaders say a solution could have been negotiated.

The January event attracts about 800 participants, plus family members.

The owner of land occupied by Ngati Kahu at Taipa in the Far North will meet the group on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to get the protesters to leave.

They say Taipa Point was stolen from Ngati Kahu. The group has built a makeshift shelter on a hectare of land owned by the Male family.

Todd Male says he has prepared trespass orders and is trying to sort the issue out.

Mr Male says his family is prepared to sell the land to Ngati Kahu or the Crown, but will not negotiate with either while the occupation continues.