Arson threat prompts calls for action

A Matakana Island landowner has questioned the right of Maori protestors to make threats of arson against land developers.

Earlier this week on Maori Television Nessie Kuka said “We’re pretty resolute in what we say here. You’re not welcome to build on this island”. Maori Television quoted the protestors as saying “they [the houses] will be burnt down,” referring to any new housing developments on the island.

Matakana Island. File photo.

The land owner and former Tauranga City councillor Bill Faulkner says he didn’t personally hear the threats but he is appalled by what has been reported back to him. And he says, if the threat was made, then it’s a case of double standards.

“My issue is solely that people can make public threats and get away with it.”

Bill says he has no idea whether the threats are serious.

“But if you look at the world terrorism situation, if you go to an airport and jokingly say to the man at the check-in counter, ‘I’ve got a bomb in my bag’, you’d see what happens.”

Matakana locals are angry about the Environment Court decision allowing 103 homes to be built on the island. As a result, it’s understood the protestors are warning the houses will be burnt down.

“This is the biggest green space left in Tauranga Moana and our role is to keep it that way,” says Nessie Kuka.

Western Bay of Plenty Police area commander Inspector Clifford Paxton told SunLive he was unaware of any complaints to police.

He says, people have the right to be safe and feel safe within the community.

“I would suggest there are appropriate forums for these matters to be heard where there are genuine issues or concerns to be raised.

“If parties have concerns about their own personal safety, safety of community members or the safety of their property, then they are able to make contact with us via Tauranga Police.”

Bill Faulkner says the development is not taking place on Maori land but the protestors are making it a Maori issue.

“And using my example of the bomb at the airport. I would have expected the police to have at least acted on the threat and advised these people this sort of behaviour is unacceptable in New Zealand.”

When SunLive spoke to locals on the island they said the threats did not reflect the attitude of the majority of people living on Matakana.


Can't condone violence

Posted on 03-08-2016 22:33 | By Darren

I would be sorry to see Matakana covered in houses but threats of violence is not the solution.

Had it coming

Posted on 15-07-2016 00:15 | By PineCone

Maybe if local Maori on the island hadn’t been such thugs about ensuring no one else could enjoy it, some more protection might have been afforded to their "Guardianship" of it

Privately owned???

Posted on 14-07-2016 07:19 | By Blessed

Is the land being developed privately owned or part of a trust?? I can understand the anger of the locals, but threats of violence wont help u. Take the legal road put in ur submissions about how this will negatively effect u and the natural habbitat. what/ where can u compromise. Ms Kuka is knowledgable enough on environmental issues and most families on Matakana have been implementing positive environmental programes, use ur knowledge and write ur oposition letter to the council?.... Matakana island reserve??? Restoration project perhaps??

Green space?

Posted on 14-07-2016 06:51 | By Roger

Green space , it’s green alright you can grow whatever you want and threaten however you want ! It shows how little respect some people really have for however provides them with benefits ect, grow up.

Where are our police and politicians?

Posted on 13-07-2016 21:35 | By BullShtAlert

All around the world society is caving in to threats. Regardless of who you are I expect the police and courts to react immediately to threats of violence and vandalism. I would also say the same if the threats came from any other party.

Build not Build

Posted on 13-07-2016 18:59 | By Pakmon1

The land that is being cleared for Developement is under dispute and not at all privately owned, there is a Court hearing in October and with the backing of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council who have pointed out that there are Significant and Historical features that need to recognised if not protected these developers are JUMPING THE GUN!

served them well for 50 years

Posted on 13-07-2016 18:24 | By Captain Sensible

Bully standover tactics have worked well for these people over the last 50 years. Their MO will only change when someone in power does the unlikely thing of growing a backbone.


Posted on 13-07-2016 18:08 | By overit

Usual intimidation.


Posted on 13-07-2016 17:35 | By Kenworthlogger

Where is Peter Dey? He will come up with some excuse as why Maori can do this and blah blah blah

The threat

Posted on 13-07-2016 14:02 | By surfsup

Some very pc statements made by Inspector Paxton. Presumably the police can look at the tv footage and take steps to stop this from going any further. If they can’t or won’t then questions need to be asked.

Am I Surprised.

Posted on 13-07-2016 13:47 | By Jitter

Absolutely not ! This is typical of the activist racist atitudes of a minority group in the BOP community. As the land involved is privately owned the individuals making these threats do not have a leg to stand on. If they stupidly carry out their threat then they should be hit with the full weight of the law and receive the maximum penalty.

Childish tantrums and racism

Posted on 13-07-2016 12:57 | By lpm67

Yes race is being used as an excuse for spoilt children to stamp their feet when their toy is threatened. So sick of this crap


Posted on 13-07-2016 11:20 | By dumbkof2

i wonder what would happen if pakeha threatened to burn down mayori houses. listen to all the racist comments

different drum same tune

Posted on 13-07-2016 10:18 | By Darth Vader NZ

The threat of arson doesn’t prompt a proper response from police is somewhat interesting, I suspect that is to not draw attention to this matter, but I think thats failed. The land is "privately" owned and is not maori owned land going by the information reported by the NZ herald nor is it a treaty claim issue, this is only an issue with locals on the island not wanting their sleepy, picturesque lifestyle disturbed. They can’t make this a race issue because it’s not it’s solely a stomping their feet like a naughty child wanting their own way issue and they are grasping at straws hoping it becomes a race and treaty issue where they know they can beat that same drum from now to eternity, I look forward to seeing development on the island just like the mainland, I suspect the properties will be priced like Auckland properties anywa

21st Century

Posted on 13-07-2016 09:07 | By Gigilo

Welcome to the 21st Century, time for all land to be in general title as applies with rates and levies collected in accordance to the use.

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