27 May 2013

Group plans to occupy land

7:02 pm on 27 May 2013

A Ngati Manawa action group is planning to occupy land in protest at the failure of eight iwi to share forestry among themselves.

Te Kokoti Moeroa a Tangiharuru will not reveal where the camp will be, but says it will be in a highly-visible location on the edge of the Kaingaroa forest.

The tribes have failed to reach an agreement to divide the Crown-returned land between them according to mana whenua or territorial rights.

The group's leader - Pem Bird - says some tribes are demanding more of the land than they're entitled to - which is not in line with the guidelines that all eight iwi have agreed to follow.

He says the plan has always been for an adjudication panel to consider the evidence of mana whenua-based occupation of the land, whakapapa and urupa.

But Mr Bird says big iwi are not willing to play by the rules they signed up to, and instead want to cut a deal based on equal shares.

A court case and marae visits to discuss the dispute are also planned.