Protester to meet police

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 08:48 22/02/2013

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A judge has ordered a meeting between Lake Horowhenua advocate Philip Taueki and a senior policeman following the latest airing of tensions at the Levin waterway.

Following a long breach of bail hearing in the Levin District Court yesterday Judge Les Atkins called for an in-chambers meeting between Taueki and Rural Palmerston North area commander Inspector Mark Harrison.

Judge Atkins found Taueki had breached his bail conditions following an incident on February 11 but imposed no penalty.

Representing himself, Taueki made several accusations against police during the course of the hearing, including that they had ignored any of his complaints about people trespassing at the lake, and abused him or broke bylaws.

Taueki said members of the Horowhenua Rowing Club routinely crossed from the public lake domain onto his private property to launch their boats in a culturally significant area.

Taueki said club members had been told of the importance of that part of the lake months ago but ignored his requests not to launch boats there.

The section in question was the point from which the Muaupoko people launched waka carrying their dead to take them across the lake, he said.

"It is a complete desecration of a sacred site by those rowers and the police seem to have no respect for who owns the lake."

The Maori Land Court had ruled the rowers had no rights to occupy the rowing club building at the lake yet police had done nothing to evict them, he said.

Taueki has now filed an injunction with the Maori Land Court to have the rowers evicted. A decision on that application is expected soon.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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