An Australian businessman who has bought a Kaikohe building is taking legal steps to remove squatters claiming Maori sovereignty.
Glenn Hannah says he bought the large store in a mortgagee sale, knowing it was occupied by a group calling itself the Tai Tokerau embassy.
He says the squatters include the widow of the former owner of the property.
Mr Hannah says he's tried to reason with them, but they won't let him into the building to start renovations.
He says there are many empty shops in Kaikohe but he sees a good future for the town and has potential tenants for the building.
He says he has applied to the court for an order that will allow police to evict the squatters.