No Queue Jumping By Waiouru ProtestersTreaty of Waitangi Negotiations
The Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Hon D.A.M. Graham, says occupations are counter-productive and he will not go to Waiouru to meet protesters occupying a picnic spot.
'Illegal occupations are counter-productive to the settlement of claims and simply a nuisance.
'The order of negotiations will not be changed because some people choose to take the law into their own hands and occupy someone else's land.'
Mr Graham says he does not know the group staging the occupation and they have made no request to enter into negotiations on a land claim with the Government.
'However, I understand a claim lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in May last year, which related to the Kaimanawa wild horses only, was amended in November to cover land and natural resource issues.
'The Crown has not established the validity of the claim and the claim itself has yet to be allocated a hearing date by the Tribunal.
'The Minister of Conservation met representatives of the group to discuss the wild horses a couple of weeks ago but I have had no dealings with them.
'People who take the law into their own hands can expect the law to come down on them.
'If they are trespassing, it is for the owner to issue a trespass notice. It will then be up to the police to decide how and when to enforce it,' he says.