Letters: Overseas landowners don’t recognise leaders

Saturday November 23, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
One of Captain Tama’s boats disembarks passengers on Motu Koromiri. 19112037 One of Captain Tama’s boats disembarks passengers on Motu Koromiri. 19112037

Dear editor

Your front page article (“Motu owners may ask fee for lagoon cruises access”, November 21) has prompted me to respond.  


Captain Tama and Koka Lagoon Cruises have been  paying land rental  for use of the motu into the Browne Harvey Trust Account. 

They will negotiate a new rental when a new Committee representative of all the landowners has been established.

They refused to negotiate land rentals with Mata atua McNair, the chairperson of the current landowners committee, at request of a number of landowners who stated she did not represent the majority of landowners. 

There is  disunity and disharmony amongst landowners of the Koromiri motu and the Nukupure netball court and rugby field.  One of the main issues being  money; the lack of communication and  consultation  between  700 registered landowners, absentee landowners and their elected representatives, misinformation and the lack of recognition given to the role of traditional leaders in decision-making.

In February 2018, Mata atua McNair, as a landowner and on behalf of the landowners, filed an injunction application in the High Court to stop the upgrade and development of the Ngatangiia netball courts with development funds from the Japanese. They wanted their land back.   

Teaia Mataiapo and the traditional leaders [Aronga Mana] on behalf of the landowners opposed the injunction on the grounds they wanted to honour decisions of the Pa Metua that the netball court and rugby field remain for sports and recreation for the people of Ngatangiia/Matavera.

In September 2019, the judgment ruled in favour of the aronga mana.  The injunction application was dismissed and allowed for the  development of the Courts to proceed.  

The Court stated: By right of title, the Mataiapo and Rangatira represent the landowners of the area and they are united in their support for the development here. This is not a case of single title holder as against the landowners but a united Aronga Mana in support of development ...

The current generation of landowners some of whom were born and raised overseas, or outside of the village, do not recognise the role of traditional leaders in Muri Enua, do not make an effort to research the custom practices and  decisions previously made and as a result their decisions and actions create disharmony within families and the community. 

The challenge for landowners is to ensure the person you elect as your representative acts in your best interests. 

Lynnsay Rongokea Francis

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