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Protesters dig in for forestry occupation
7 June 2013

Members of a Maori occupation group in Kaingaroa Forest in the Bay of Plenty say they are preparing for the long haul.

The group is protesting because eight tribes have failed to reach an agreement to divide the land between between them according to mana whenua (territorial rights).

The land was returned to the iwi by the Crown in 2008 and tribes are still arguing about how it should be divided.

Ngati Manawa says it will never agree to commercial division of the land, saying its burial grounds and papakainga (Maori plots) are not up for grabs.

A Ngati Manawa action group - Te Kokoti Moeroa a Tangiharuru - says it's planning to build several huts and create a maara kai (vegetable garden).

The group's leader Pem Bird says his supporters are excited at the prospect of living again on the very spot where their ancestor Haungaroa stayed in 1250.

To read the original RadioNZ article, click here.


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