Category Archives: Lake Horowhenua

Prosecuted for Trespassing on his Own Land! “Disturbingly Medieval” Says Maori Owner in Lake Horowhenua Prosecution

Lake Horowhenua Trespass Prosecution “Disturbingly Medieval” Says Maori Owner

In New Zealand, this week’s Court of Appeal decision quashing the acquittal of an owner charged with trespassing on his own land is disturbingly medieval, according to the owner who will now be retried for the same offence thrown out by a district court judge last May.

Phil Taueki says he is not joking when he cites Magna Carta harking back to ancient times when the Crown could seize control of ancestral lands and imprison owners who refused to leave. Magna Carta became NZ law in 1989.

He says the original police prosecutor admitted there was no case to answer but he was under political pressure to proceed with this prosecution.

When this charge was dismissed, that should have been the end of it, he says.

But Crown Law appealed his acquittal even though there was no compelling new evidence or suggestion of a tainted acquittal.

It is disconcerting that Crown Law has hijacked this criminal case to evict owners from their own property, he says.

“There is even a statue of the man who stole our land in the grounds of Parliament”, Mr Taueki says.

“Anybody else who claimed there was an agreement would be laughed out of court if they could not produce a copy of that agreement,” he says. “But not Crown Law”.

Nevertheless in the High Court, Justice Ellis accepted there was an agreement and therefore the public had more rights than the owners on their own land.

Lake Horowhenua and the surrounding ancestral land has belonged to Mr Taueki and other members of his iwi since a certificate of title was issued in 1899.

Despite private ownership, within a few years Parliament had passed a law letting the public use the lake free of charge and placing it under the control of a Domain Board appointed by the Minister of Conservation.

In 1906, MP Tame Parata had called for the repeal of legislation passed without the approval of the owners.

Prior to Mr Taueki’s arrest, this Board banned all owners from entering their own buildings so that members of the local rowing club could occupy buildings the Board neither owns nor leases.

The Minister for Maori Development conceded two years ago that these arrangements would not be put in place today.

However Parliament has shown no inclination to repeal legislation that Mr Taueki describes as ‘theft by statute’.

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For information on the history of Lake Horowhenua open or download the following pdf file:

Lake Horowhenua

Photo Credit: Wikimedia 

 

Tribunal hears Lake Horowhenua concerns

The latest on the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings this week for Lake Horowhenua

By Leigh Marama McLachlan

radionz.co.nz

Lake Horowhenua, Levin
Lake Horowhenua, Levin

“The Waitangi Tribunal has spent the past week hearing Muaūpoko iwi members claims to Lake Horowhenua and surrounding lands. It is the first hearing round of three set out for the Porirua ki Manawatu district inquiry.

Muaūpoko descendant Phil Taueki has has made it his mission to return Lake Horowhenua to Māori hands.

He is one of the claimants who finally got the chance to stand up and let the tribunal, and the Crown, know what he has spent years fighting for.

The first thing he wants to stop is Horowhenua District Council pumping storm water from Levin into the lake.

“The second thing that needs to happen is the Levin Wastewater Treatment Plant needs to be relocated, because it periodically discharges and seeps raw sewerage into the lake.”

He said about 5 million cubic centimetres of toxic sediment was in the lake and urgently needed to be removed.

“That’s laying on the bottom of the lake, on top of our ancestors, and it needs to be removed as quickly as possible.”

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Related

Like being waist deep in a long drop! – Lake Horowhenua Waitangi Tribunal Hearing Continues

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Manawatu Standard – By NICHOLAS MCBRIDE

“The Waitangi Tribunal was told to imagine being stuck waste deep in a long drop to understand the conditions that Muaupoko iwi ancestors are in at Lake Horowhenua.

The hearing opened at the Horowhenua Events Centre in Levin on Monday, with 22 claims looking at Lake Horowhenua, Hokio Stream and the Horowhenua land block.

On Monday Judge Caren Fox said it would be one of the most profound hearings in the district….

At the second morning of the hearing, Phil Taueki staked his claim for his whanau to be included in the Crown’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement with the Muaupoko Tribal Authority. He also raised a series of issues relating to the pollution of Lake Horowhenua…Taueki estimated hundreds of millions of dollars would be required to clean the lake.

“In his submission, Taueki claimed contaminants from the Levin landfill and wastewater treatment plant were pooled at the Hokio Beach area which then seeped out to the beach.

He said “clouds of brown sewage” were visible in the ocean.

“Because of the tides, all that sewage washes down the coast to Kapiti.”

Taueki said his whanau had always had a presence in the area, compared to other tribes.

“There was one whanau that never left, that was the Taueki whanau… The report by the Crown barely mentions Taueki, which shows how much weight you should put on their research… no-one is going to move me from my land at the lake.”

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Comment

A reminder to us all, long term pollution like this eventually catches up with us. Somewhere down the line, the lack of addressing these issues along the way, culminates in crisis. As long as profits take precedence over people and environments this kind of scenario is going to continue. With the TPPA signed now, we can now, unfortunately,  look forward to more of this.

EnvirowatchRangitikei