Airport protestors set terms to end occupation

  • Northland

Members of Ngati Kahu hapū Patukōraha and Ngāi Tohianga who are currently occupying Kaitaia Airport say if the government acknowledges the land belongs to them they will end their occupation.

A statement released by a member of the group Anthony Housham says the government needs to return the land to the iwi of Ngāti Kahu.

They have also called for the lease currently held by Far North Holdings to operate the airport, be assigned to Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu to administer on behalf of those hapū.

The group says a written acknowledgement from the government can happen immediately and would mean that the airport can reopen today.

Members of the group have been based at Kaitaia Airport since yesterday in protest of a $100 million treaty settlement due to be ratified at Parliament today.

The third reading of the Te Hiku settlement is set to take place today.

Te Rarawa Chair, Haami Piripi who is at Parliament for the reading told Te Kāea that he wishes the Ngāti Kahu occupiers all the best and acknowledged they have chosen their path. He says they are his people too, he is Ngāti Kahu but stated that today is about Te Hiku.

The occupiers say they plan to remain at Kaitaia Airport until their demands are met.