The council have no say in Māori land - Kevin Moore

A Black Power lifetime member has built his dream home illegally on Māori land in Taranaki. Kevin Moore believes that consent laws should not apply when dealing with Māori land.

Moore moved to Rohutu in 2014 and this isn't the first obstacle he's had to face. Since he's been living there, the trustees of the Māori land block wanted to evict him, because he wasn't a shareholder. Now, he's having to face the New Plymouth District Council.  

"I have every right to be here, I am tangata whenua, I've been guided by my tupuna. I am here kaitiaki of the whenua and I have perfect rights to be right here, and what I'm doing, there's nothing wrong," says Moore.

A portrait of a prominent Te Ātiawa chief Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke hangs on his wall, but despite his lineage, the Rohutu Trust say Moore is not a registered shareholder of this particular land block.

"There are 170 so-called owners of the block here but somehow mysteriously our iwi our people have been scrubbed out, but if it has to be and they want to know more about that we can dig deep and find out why that happened."

The New Plymouth District Council are meeting with trustees of the Rohutu block to determine a way forward and the need for building consents for any new dwelling that is built on the site.

"They can come along and inspect the building but I ain't gonna be paying for anything if they want to do an inspection. As far as I'm concerned the council have no say on Māori land."

Moore is adamant that he has done nothing wrong and believes that tangata whenua shouldn't need permits to build on the ancestral land.