The Waitangi Tribunal has only just begun hearing Patuharakeke claims to the confiscation of Poupouwhenua when on Easter Friday they received notice that over 160 hectares of the said land is being sold online to overseas investors.
According to Jared Pitman, “When we received notice we were very angry because the land has already been marked for return to us in time. And hence we are upset that it’s for sale to overseas buyers.”
Time is short for lawyers acting for the tribe to seek an injunction on the sale by Mighty River Power and knowing that the Crown is the major shareholder in the company, Patuharakeke are looking to meet directly with Ministers Finlayson and Tony Ryall.
In a reply to queries on this issue, Chris Finlayson's office said that Patuharakeke had the opportunity in the Govt's public offer to purchase Mighty River Power shares but did not due to the internal division amongst Ngāpuhi over the pathway to settlement.
But it's cold comfort for Patuharakeke who remain a landless tribe due to Crown actions presented in their claim.