24 Aug 2009

Hapu occupies site in forest protest

7:41 am on 24 August 2009

Members of a hapu in the far north of the North Island are due to meet officials from Land Information New Zealand on Monday over concerns their customary forestry land is not being respected.

Te Whanau Pani accuses logging company Juken New Zealand Limited of cutting down native trees and blocking streams in the Tangitu forest, near Kaeo and Mangamuka.

A spokesperson for the hapu, Allen Heta, says about 25 demonstrators set up camp at their ancestral marae, Owharepapa, located in Tangitu forest, about three weeks ago.

Land Information New Zealand issued the Crown forestry licence to Juken and plans to listen to the hapu's concerns and attempt to resolve the matter.