11 Mar 2014

Iwi asks High Court to stop land sale

11:01 am on 11 March 2014

Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Whakahemo is taking High Court action against the sale of farmlands it says it has mana whenua rights to.

State-owned farmer Landcorp put the sale of the Pukehina farms on hold late last year to allow local iwi Ngati Makino and neighbouring tribes a chance to make an offer.

Mita Ririnui, who is runanga chair of neighbouring iwi Ngati Whakahemo, said it walked away from the negotiations because Ngati Makino only gave it a minor say.

He says he found no offer had been made and the land was up for sale to the highest bidder, which he believed to be a local family.

Ngati Whakahemo's solicitors have filed an application for an injunction in the High Court at Wellington to put a stop to the sale.

Mr Ririnui said Ngati Whakahemo has rights to the land and is awaiting a Waitangi Tribunal hearing to verify that.