Elders attacked as Ihumātao tensions rise
|24 Jul 2019 11:54 AM|
The chair for Te Kawerau a Maki says it's time for the occupiers of private land at Ihumātao to leave and allow peace to return to the village.
Te Warena Taua along with other Te Kawerau a Maki, Te Akitai Waiohua, and Tainui elders went onto the land yesterday morning to ask the occupiers to leave, but he says most of them ran away rather than accept the trespass notice.
He says SOUL or Save Our Unique Landscape does not have a mandate from mana whenua, and most members have no connection to the land.
"They talked about peaceful protest but it's been quite the opposite, right to the point where the other day at our marae kaumātua were abused, attacked in the meeting hourse, and it seems a number of people from our marae have gone on side of SOUL so it's a sad day for us but they need to go, they need to go and they need not come back," Mr Taua says.
The Marae fought the declaration of the Fletchers' land as a special housing area, but having lost that battle it has negotiated a relationship with the developer that means at least 40 whānau with connections to the village will be able to get houses there for the first time in generations.Copyright © 2019, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com