14 May 2015

Bay of Plenty iwi continues Landcorp fight

9:13 pm on 14 May 2015

A Bay of Plenty Trust says it will continue its fight to stop the sale of farmland in Pukehina despite being devastated by a Court of Appeal decision, which found in favour of Landcorp.

Ngāti Whakahemo said it would exhaust every option available regardless of the financial cost, including going to the Supreme Court to prevent the sale of land it says was confiscated.

The Court of Appeal ruled against an accusation by Ngāti Whakahemo that Landcorp acted in bad faith through its activities to sell Whārere Farms.

The tribe says it was told by the Crown agency that the farms could be brought for $23 million, while another bidder was told it could buy them for not less than $19 million.

But the chair of Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whakahemo said with the blessing of the people, it would do all it can to get the land back.

Mita Ririnui said it was disappointed by the Court of Appeal decision. However, he said it had told the tribe's legal team to file an court application for leave so the matter can be taken to the Supreme Court.

Mr Ririnui said the issue was more than just buying farms, but more about getting back land, which was confiscated from the iwi through the legal process.

Meanwhile, Landcorp said it was pleased with the Court of Appeal ruling, and planed to wrap up the paperwork to sell the Whārere Farms as soon as possible.

Mr Ririnui wouldn't say how much it was willing to spend, but said it had enough money to go back to court thanks to its tribal investments.