Letters: Fitness centre would benefit community

Saturday November 30, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
School kids blow off steam at at Nukupure park in Muri. 19062002 School kids blow off steam at at Nukupure park in Muri. 19062002

Dear editor,

There was never a dispute over the owernship or the rights of registered landowners of part Nukupure 3C comprising the netball court and football field. The issue was over who represents the landowners.  

The application for an injunction filed by Mata-Atua McNair, on behalf of the landowners, was to prevent the development of the netball courts with donor funds.  The Court declined to issue the interim injunction.   

The Aronga Mana, as registered landowners, filed an application claiming McNair  did not represent landowners. The  traditional leaders have led the fundraising and development of this part of  land over the intervening years without opposition.

McNair stated  in her affidavit that there is no recognised aronga mana for Ngatangiia or custom.

The Court recognised: “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 a single title holder as against the landowners but a united Aronga Mana in support of development and an unclear number of landowners opposed.”   

The facilities have been available to  landowners and the people of  Ngatangiia for general recreation and community good for some time and their continued use and maintenance is clearly beneficial.

The Court took into account  a number of factors: “There is a clear clash here of traditional Maori custom and modern expectations of rights of ownership ... Although the property rights might be up for debate the actual impact of the development on the landowners is minimal ....the development would be beneficial to the community and has the support of community leaders.“

The issue  to uphold custom and the role of traditional leaders in decision-making was recognised  by the Court; that by right of title the Mataiapo and Rangatira represent the over 700 landowners. 

Lynnsay Rongokea Francis


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