Ngati Kahu forcibly removed from their own land
Police have forcibly removed Ngati Kahu activists from their whenua bringing an end to a land occupation on disputed land currently used by the Taipa Sailing Club, in the far north.
Police arrivedto the small coastal town at first light this morning and informed those occupying the site that they had the choice to remove themselves, or be removed. Many of the Ngati Kahu tangata remained defiant.
Police then moved in to arrest the occupiers. As they did so, they were met by shouts of protest from onlookers and songs of defiance from the occupiers. Those arrested were transported to the Kaitaia Police Station, 30 km south-west of Taipa.
A Waitangi Tribunal report in 1997 upheld Ngati Kahu's claim to the site and agreed its title to the land had never been extinguished. Despite this, as the protest co-leader Wikitana Popata explained, 'we've been arrested from our own whenua'. To add to this irony the occupiers have now been trespassed from the site for two years and can be arrested for simply setting foot on what the government has deemed to be their land.
However Ngati Kahu activists remain staunch in their struggle which, they recognise, is without end.