Following on from my recent expose (January 26) on the PanePane Point fiasco, I note that Western Bay District Council declined the offer of a right of reply on this issue and my correct assessment of the situation – hardly surprising because council cannot defend the indefensible.
Much of the Matakana Island is general, not Maori land. Roads, wharves etc. are public domain and, of course, the beaches are for public use.
The harbour purposes for which the land was taken and paid for in 1923 still exists today and will do so for the foreseeable future. If and when the purpose for which the land was taken ceases, then land, as I understand the Public Works Act, must first be offered back to the original owners or their successors.
No other iwi/hapu, nor anyone else, have any rights whatsoever to the land, so why on earth council is talking to or negotiating with present agitators heaven only knows.
Council is unlawfully interfering with the legal rights of the original Maori owners and their successors. The Minister of Local Government needs to step in and stop this nonsense with a declaration that Panepane Point is still needed for harbour purposes and until no longer required, no disposition of the land can be made to anyone.
R Paterson, Matapihi.