6 May 2014

No appeal over ruling on Grace's land

6:34 am on 6 May 2014

The Government won't appeal against an Environment Court decision preventing it from taking Maori land for a major road north of Wellington.

It's a victory for author Patricia Grace, who's been fighting to keep her ancestral land in Waikanae from being seized under the Public Works Act.

Patricia Grace.

Patricia Grace. Photo: RNZ / Leigh McLachlan

Crown Law has confirmed it will not file an appeal against the decision.

The agency tried to acquire a 980 square metre section of Ms Grace's land in Waikanae under the Public Works Act for the construction of the Kapiti Expressway.

In its judgement, the court said it would not be fair to compulsorily take the land, particularly when an alternate route or method is available for the expressway.

It established a minor realignment of the highway would mean the road would avoid her land, and the local Maori cemetery.

Ms Grace inherited the Maori land. It belonged to her great-great grandfather Wi Parata, who was a Maori leader and donated large sections of land to Waikanae.

Meanwhile, the Maori Appellate Court has requested more information from the Transport Agency, which is appealing against an earlier Maori Land Court ruling giving the land special protection.