In the Far North over the antics of elements of Ngati Kahu, centered around the Popata family and actively supported and encouraged by the likes of John Harawiri MP and Professor Margaret Mutu, in occupying privately owned land at Taipa Point which they believe is rightly theirs.
Putting aside the rights and wrongs of the case the reality is that the Waitangi Tribunal cannot adjudicate in respect of privately owned land. It can only be resolved on a willing seller, willing buyer basis and right now those conditions do not exist.
The game plan by Ngati Kahu appears to be to take the law into their own hands and somehow force the issue. No matter that their rag tag occupation desecrates a beautiful landscape; no matter that the tourist industry is now bypassing Taipa Bay Resort just across the road; no matter that they accost both locals and visitors alike and abuse them for not showing 'respect'. This matters not a tinkers cuss to the Popota 'Bros' who you will recall were last year convicted of assaulting the Prime Minister at Waitangi.
Ngati Kahu need to understand that there are consequences likely to result from illegal actions. On 11 December the Northland Electorate of the National Party (the strongest electorate in the Party with a membership that exceeds ACT, Winston First and United Future combined) will, at a special meeting, debate a motion that Government cease discussions with Ngati Kahu over their portion of the Muriwhenua Land Claim which is now in the final stages of resolution. In effect Ngati Kahu will be 'quarantined while they continue to give support to the Popata family and others thumbing their noses at the rule of law.
I will be moving the motion. Already it has attracted considerable support. I expect it to receive unanimous support