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Phil Taueki: Supreme Court Judgement

Phil Taueki: Supreme Court Judgement

Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki Phil Taueki has slammed this week’s Supreme Court judgement as a blatant attempt to obliterate the Treaty of Waitangi that his ancestor signed in good faith.

This judgement confirms that not even a direct Treaty descendant has the same property rights as Pakeha squatting in buildings erected without permission on Maori Freehold Land.

He says that this judgement is particularly abhorrent, coming the very week that New Zealand’s Prime Minister was in South Africa with world leaders mourning the death of Nelson Mandela.

Despite Lake Horowhenua being private property, owned by Mua-Upoko in ordinary English title since 1893, the rights of the owners have been eroded to such an extent that owners can no longer protect their property from members of the public putting their lake at risk of irreversible damage.

Under the control of the Crown-appointed Domain Board, the lake has deteriorated to such an extent that is now rated one of the ten worst lakes in the country.

Mr Taueki says that although his defence relied on conventional property ownership, he had asked the Supreme Court to define peaceable possession, in a manner that recognised the unique circumstances due to the existence of the Treaty of Waitangi.

He was disturbed to discover there was no reference whatsoever to the Treaty of Waitangi in this judgement, even though the Supreme Court was established to enable important legal matters,
including matters relating to the Treaty of Waitangi to be resolved with an understanding of New Zealand conditions, history and traditions.

“This week’s decision supposedly prevents owners from stopping members of the public from launching unwashed motorised boats on the lake, placing it at risk of irreversible damage from the introduction of invasive weeds. “

“This is the thanks we get from the generosity of our ancestors allowing the public to use our lake”, he says. ‘We have not sold nor leased any land allowing access to the lake, so how can the Crown then place control of our freehold land into the hands of people who then abuse the privilege of public access by breaching the by-laws put in place to protect our lake."

Mr Taueki says that the judgement of the Supreme Court will be challenged as a continuation of the colonial arrogance that he will not tolerate.

Yesterday, the police were called to another incident at the lake when Horizons staff tried to launch a motorised boat on the weed-infested lake when there are still no wash-down facilities on site.

He says the Supreme Court judgement has made him more determined than ever to stand up for the right of Maori to enjoy the same property rights as other New Zealanders. “As far as I am concerned, all the Supreme Court has done is sanction the theft of our land by the Crown."


IN THE MATTER Of an appeal against conviction and sentence pursuant to Section 13 of the

Supreme Court Act 2003

APPELLANT Philip Dean Taueki


Submission for the appellant

Dated this 22th day of October 2012



1. Whilst this may appear to be nothing more than an insignificant assault case, this appeal strikes at the very heart of the jurisdiction of this Court and those who create New Zealand law.

2. The appellant, as a Treaty partner and owner of Horowhenua 11 (Lake), is calling upon this Court to honour the guarantee made by the Queen of England under whose jurisdiction this Court sits.

3. The appellant is effectively asking this Court to define ‘peacable possession’ in a manner that recognises the unique circustamces in New Zealand due to the existence of the Treaty of Waitangi.

4. In Singh v the Police, at para 17, Judge Joe Williams says that: ‘peacable possession is a phrase that is not defined in the Crimes Act, and there appear to be no authorities on the topic”.

5. In Hadden at 44, the Court of Appeal agrees that the element of peacable possession does not appear to have been considered by a New Zealand Court.

6. Due to the existence of the Treaty of Waitangi, reliance on the Canadian case of Born with a Tooth defining peaceable possession as ‘possession acquiesced by all’ contrevenes New Zealand’s
founding document that guarantees the Treaty signatories and their descendents ‘full, exclusive and undisturbed possession’ of land collectively or individually owned.

7. In defining ‘peaceable possession’ this Court should also take cognisance of the interpretation of ‘claim of right’ in section 2 of the Crimes Act 1961 which means ‘a belief at the time of the act in a proprietory or possessory right in property in relation to which the offence is alleged to be committed, although that belief may be based on ignorance or mistake of fact or any matter of law etc’.

Dated this 22nd day of October 2012.


Phil Taueki



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