26 May 2011

Landowners threaten to pull down pest-proof fence

5:10 pm on 26 May 2011

Some landowners bordering the Maungatautari Ecological Island in Waikato are threatening to pull down part of a 47km pest-proof fence surrounding the reserve.

The controversy has been festering for more than a year. Landowners are upset over a new governance structure splitting control between landowners, the community and local Maori.

Landowners Council spokesperson Peter Holmes says they know pulling down the fence will threaten the ecological project, but it appears to be the only way people will listen to their concerns.

Mr Holmes says they are also opposed to local iwi being given 2500 hectares of the reserve in a forthcoming Treaty settlement.

If the fence is breached in places, it will happen after the deed is signed in June, he says.