February 09, 2014
Support for Grace land fight
Writer Patricia Grace says the continued abuse of the Public Works Act by crown agencies undermines the treaty settlement process.
Mrs Grace is fighting an attempt by the New Zealand Transport Agency to take her land at Waikanae for a new expressway.
The land came down from her great great grandfather Wi Parata, who made large tracts in the area available for schools, churches, the railway and for settlement.
In an action instigated by Mana magazine, Maori groups along with many of New Zealand's best-known authors have signed an open letter to Government ministers John Key, Gerry Brownlee and Nathan Guy opposing the land seizure.
Mrs Grace says they can see a new treaty breach.
"The crown, the people and the Waitangi Tribunal are trying their best to make compensation for and to right the wrongs of the past. But the Public Works Act is still there to take Maori land. I'ts like compensating with one hand and taking with the other, " she says.
Patricia Grace is asking the Maori Land Court to make the land a reservation, and is then off to the Environment Court to appeal the taking.
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