25 Aug 2011

Waitara leaseholders' claim thrown out again

8:39 pm on 25 August 2011

Leaseholders have again lost out in a long-running court battle regarding land in the Taranaki town of Waitara.

The group is seeking compensation for New Plymouth District Council offering the land to the Crown to settle Maori iwi Te Atiawa's historical claims under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Waitara man Ray Hunt has led the case on behalf of about 70 affected leaseholders.

They claim that council letters from 1994 and 1997 overstated the prospect of them being able to freehold their properties and that they have suffered financial losses as a result.

Last year, the High Court struck out the leaseholders' damages claims and the Court of Appeal has now supported the ruling.

The district council says it had always been confident of such an outcome and it is good to get the confirmation.

Mr Hunt says he is disappointed and, although the case could go to the Supreme Court, it has already cost enough and is likely to end here.