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Ed Sheeran

Public Reserves Act trumps treaty settlement for tree huggers
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The head of Honour the Maunga says the Tupuna Maunga Authority should not have removed the protest group’s tents from Ōwairaka-Mount Albert because they were on a public reserve.

The authority says group members were breaching the level 4 COVID-19 restrictions, but Anna Radford says the encampment had not been used since the lockdown.

She rejects the authority’s view that as representatives of the maunga’s iwi owners it has the right to act.

"I do get tired of being accused of being on private land and then people think it's like we're camping in someone's back yard. It's not like that. It's a public reserve. Until the COVID lockdown we had been there five months because it's a public reserve and under the Bill of Rights we have a right to be in a public reserve," Ms Radford says.

She says Honour the Maunga supports the authority’s vision of revegetating the mountain but doesn’t accept that should involve cutting down the existing trees.

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