29 Sep 2017

Māori land protester has water restored

8:29 pm on 29 September 2017

A Māori land protester who lives beside Lake Horowhenua has had his water restored, after it was cut off during a long-running dispute involving the local council.

Phil Taueki has lived beside Lake Horowhenua for 13 years in protest at its degradation and the loss of his iwi's rights

Phil Taueki has now had his water supply restored. Photo: Supplied

Phil Taueki has been occupying a building next to the lake for 13 years.

His long-running protest at the lake received a boost in June from a Waitangi Tribunal finding that the property rights of his iwi, Muaūpoko, were usurped at the lake and that the Crown was complicit in degrading the lake to the point that it was among the most polluted in New Zealand.

Horowhenua District Council cut off his water last November and yesterday Mr Taueki said his attempts to reconnect it, since his return at Easter, had failed.

Mr Taueki's lawyer, Michael Bott, said the council had tonight finally restored the water supply but Mr Bott questioned why it was cut in the first place.

"I couldn't understand why they did it," he said.

"I'm just glad that a citizen who was living at a residence as he's lawfully entitled to do has had his drinking water reconnected."

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