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Bullets Fired At Disputed Lake Horowhenua Rowing Club

Bullets Fired At Disputed Lake Horowhenua Rowing Club Building

By Anne Hunt

Bullets have been fired at a Lake Horowhenua building less than 24 hours after several police officers were forced to restrain a rowing club member who was threatening to kill a Lake owner and female supporter. One of the bullets penetrated a heavy-gauge roller door.

Members of the Horowhenua Rowing Club were yesterday given seven days to remove their equipment from the northern Domain building they neither own nor lease.

The club has continued to occupy this building despite being given notice to vacate the building by the Lake Domain Board Chairman in 2012. That year, the Court of Appeal established that the Domain Board had no power to effectively roll over a lease that had expired in 2007. The following year, the Supreme Court agreed the club does not have any legal right to occupy the building.

Since taking over the empty southern building last month, these owners have been subjected to death threats and vandalism.

Philip Taueki, an owner who lives at the lake was forced to barricade himself in his home when a rower and two accomplices were outside threatening to kill him. The offenders have not yet been arrested.

A 33 year old man has been arrested and remanded in custody after a home invasion on the night of 7th October.

That same night, every window in the two-storied southern building was smashed.

In a statement to Scoop on 16t October Manawatu Police Area Commander Sarah Stewart said, "at this stage it is not believed the alleged incidents are in any way related to the issues at The Horowhenua Domain."

Mr Taueki says it is disturbing that guns are now being brought down to the lake.

Next Friday marks 110 years since Parliament passed a law letting the public use free of charge this privately-owned lake. Within a year, a Maori MP was questioning when Parliament would repeal legislation that acquires control of a valuable asset without the consent of the owners.

Mr Taueki says it is a relief that the Government is finally accepting responsibility for these arrangements that would not be put in place today.

The police have been notified of the latest incident.


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