14 Aug 2009

Kaikohe occupation 'hurting property sales'

7:00 am on 14 August 2009

The lawyer for a Kaikohe businessman who has been locked out of his building by a group claiming Maori customary rights says the dispute is affecting local property sales.

The group on Thursday won another week's stay of eviction in the High Court in Whangarei pending an appeal hearing next week.

Lawyer Doug Blaikie, who acts for the building's owner Glenn Hannah, told the court he knows of two property deals that have fallen through because the lenders were put off by the occupation.

He says groups running spurious sovereignty arguments can harm communities and damage the public's view of Maori who have legitimate claims to customary ownership.