Protesters who have have been occupying a building in Kaikohe for more than four months were evicted by police this morning.
The sovereignty group, Ngā Uri o Tupoto, lost a High Court appeal against an eviction order on Friday, leaving building owner and Australian businessman, Glenn Hannah, optimistic about gaining possession of the former furniture store he bought in April.
A group of 6-8 police entered the building on Broadway just after 10 am this morning. Less than an hour later, the protestors, estimated to number 6-8, had gone. An eye witness says protestors left the building peacefully.
Background: The group, which includes the widow of the building’s former owner, has been based there for several years, but it was sold when it failed to keep up with mortgage payments. Ngā Uri o Tupoto’s rangatira council said it did not dispute Mr Hannah held the legal title to the building and invited him to take the building away if he wished. However, it said it was entitled to stay on the land.
He bought a piece of paper … but we believe we’re legitimately and lawfully on the land. It’s about the whenua, not the building.
- Mr Hannah’s lawyer, Doug Blaikie of Rawene, told Radio NZ he should not have to go to court to get the group evicted.
- Mr Blaikie said the sale was lawful and the group was using “nonsensical sovereignty claims” to thumb its nose at the law.
- He said the police could evict the group with a trespass notice, but they would not act until a court order was issued.
Instead, Ngā Uri o Tupoto has issued its own trespass notice against Mr Hannah. A sign on the building bars employees or agents of the police, the Ministry of Justice or any “fraudulently created fictitious corporate entities”, including the Government.