Maori land protesters have been removed from a Far North sailing club on a District Council reserve, with 10 arrested and departing in a police van.
The police arrived at the Taipa Sailing Club, 30km northeast of Kaitaia, soon after first light today and told a Ngati Kahu protest group occupying the land they have to move off.
The occupiers were given the option of walking off peacefully or being arrested for trespass, Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said.
A number said they would not leave the land so they went through the “arrest process”, he said.
Those arrested had been taken to Kaitaia police station, where police would decide whether charges should be laid.
They claimed to be a “peaceful” protest, which usually means they’d blame any damage on those enforcing the law.
But it’s good to see the police acting promptly in cases like this, too often they’ve stood back and let the problem fester for months, rather than acting promptly on court orders.
A Waitangi Tribunal report in 1997 upheld Ngati Kahu’s claim and agreed its title to the land had never been extinguished.
The problem is that some people decided that this gave them the right to do whatever they felt like, and ultimately undermined the serious attempts to settle the treaty claim.