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Mau Whenua – We Will Not Be Moved

The major allied party funding of the Mau Whenua High Court case will cease on Friday Dec 18th 2020, a bitter blow for the compelling case that is due to be heard in March 2021.

Lawyers for the case filed a memorandum this morning notifying the Court of the pending cessation of funding arrangements. Mau Whenua are exploring alternative options for raising the estimated $2.2m required to continue their case. If the funds are not able to be raised, the case cannot be presented in the High Court.

The Mau Whenua case challenges the legality of sales by PNBST Trustees of four blocks of iwi Treaty Settlement land at Shelly Bay/Marukaikuru to The Wellington Company in 2017 and 2019, and seeks to have the sale overturned.

Mau Whenua Inc, together with the Independent Applicants, and the many hundreds of supporters of the campaign to save Shelly Bay, remain grateful for the commitment, dedication and generosity of major legal case funders to date. Mau Whenua member Dr Catherine Love acknowledged the effects of Covid on the film industry and the difficult decisions Mau Whenua allies and supporters have been forced to make. “They have been strong and reliable allies for our kaupapa – to expose and correct injustice, to hold our land, and to uphold environmental principles relating to our land and harbour.”

Anaru Mepham, Mau Whenua leader of the occupation at Marukaikuru, said

"We are disgusted that the exorbitant cost to shine a light on the many layers of wrongdoing in the High Court system is prohibitive. The risk to our people’s livelihoods and wellbeing is too great.

We will continue to fight for the social, and environment injustices that have been revealed across Motu Kairangi, and we will continue to fight for Maori land to remain in Maori hands. These are battles that in 2020 Aotearoa, in a post-Treaty Settlement era, we should never have had to have. This process has exposed deep-seated concerns and injustices that are wider than Wellington and are affecting iwi around the country.”

Hinekaa Mako, Taranaki Whānui supporter of Mau Whenua commented:

“In light of the Prime Minister declaring a Climate Emergency last week, it is time for every significant development to be assessed through a climate risk analysis and Mau Whenua remain convinced more ecologically sound developments could still be considered.

It is not too late to avoid a development with climate catastrophe written all over it,” says Mako adding that, “Cassels millionaire apartments are not only a slap in the face for our people in this era when indigenous resilience to land, and bio-diversity loss is a number one priority globally, but it also flies in the face of intelligent land use now, because it’s a maladaptive climate response and the Wellington City Councillors know this.

This goes to show the country how the recent decision made by Wellington City Council effectively threatens our democratic right to a day in court.”

“This news only serves to stoke our fire of resolve to hold firm. We will regroup and take a different tack, legal action is only one way to fight against tyranny” says Mepham. "The occupation at Marukaikuru will continue – we will not be moved".

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