19 Mar 2013

Samuels wants suspected arson case resolved

8:19 am on 19 March 2013

Former Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels is growing impatient with the pace of a police investigation into a fire on coastal customary land in the Far North.

On 26 January a sales office burned down on Matauri Bay whenua owned by the Matauri X Incorporation, which is selling subdivisions to clear a $15 million debt that arose from a failed venture into a water-bottling business.

Mr Samuels, a shareholder in the incorporation, says "You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes" to find the culprits.

He says it would be nice if aspects of the inquiry were resolved and some people held accountable.

Mr Samuels says if the suspects are found, prospective plot buyers will be able to have confidence that their investments will be protected by the law.

However, he says everything is so dark and murky that no one wants to do anything, which affects the community of Matauri Bay and his hapu, Ngati Kura.

Police say they have no update on the suspected arson. Officers have renewed their appeal for information from members of the public.