September 09, 2015
Airport occupiers’ story challenged
The negotiator for Ngai Takoto, Rangitane Marsden, says Kaitaia Airport is not the site of some historic grievance, and its occupation by elements of Ngati Kahu is an attempt to sabotage the settlement with other far north iwi passed by parliament today.
Protest organiser Wikitana Popata says the land was taken during World War Two from the Erstich whanau of Ngati Kahu, and should come back to the iwi.
Mr Marsden says in fact it’s part of the old land claim sales of the 1800s, and the crown has agreed to return it to both Ngai Takoto and Ngati Kahu.
He says up to now the Ngati Kahu Runanga has sought the airport as a commercial asset for itself, while Ngai Takoto wanted the land returned to the respective hapu and iwi of the area.
He says Ngati Kahu is creating havoc because it hasn’t got its own way.
"If they really want to do something about their plight they need to get back to the table and have a conversation and involve their people in that conversation so everybody knows what is going on. My view at the moment is that people are misinformed about a whole lot of things and are reacting to that misinformation in a negative way that is not producing any support for anyone I have spoken to recently in that space," Mr Marsden says.
He says the other iwi in Te Hiku o Te Ika have decided they have had enough of deprivation and it is time for leaders to take their people forward with what the settlement offers.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH RANGITANE MARSDEN CLICK ON THE LINK
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