18 Nov 2010

Fullers avoiding Taipa after protester boards bus

7:29 pm on 18 November 2010

The tour company Fullers says its coaches will avoid the Far North town of Taipa while there is a risk they will be harassed by protesters.

Another company, Dune Rider, says one of its tour buses was pulling in to the town's resort on Thursday, when it was boarded by a man involved with the Ngati Kahu land occupation.

A group from Ngati Kahu is occupying private land opposite the resort after being evicted last week from a nearby council reserve.

The protester, Wi Katana Popata, says the passengers seemed interested in what he was saying. He says all he was doing was giving out truthful information.

Fullers general manager Charles Parker says protest action could be frightening for some passengers, so coaches will take an alternative route.

Taipa Resort owner Dale Synnot says protesters flagged down the Dune Rider bus as it arrived at the resort for its daily morning tea stop.

Mrs Synnot says the loss of the bus trade will cost her $700 per day and a bakery where buses used to stop will also lose.

She says Christmas bookings have been cancelled because of the protest and she may have to lay off staff.

Lois Williams reports for Checkpoint