Rowing vandalism linked to land claim
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 6:17p.m.
By Adam Ray
Horowhenua's mayor says simmering tensions over a Maori land claim could be behind vandalism that left a trail of destruction at a rowing club.
Locals are blaming a small group of individuals aggrieved over land claims after 25 of the Horowhenua Rowing Club’s 30 boats were attacked over the weekend.
Seventy-five different holes were stabbed into the boats, and some are so badly damaged they may be beyond repair. It is a crippling blow for a club with just 40-odd members.
“To see all these boats we've rowed in for years, people have owed in for years, to see them trashed is disgusting,” says rower Max Mason.
Many in the community suspect a small group who claim the club's occupying Maori land.
One of them has been caught on club premises twice already this year.
“Club members have been abused, our property threatened, and now we find this damage,” says club treasurer Jo Mason.
Horowhenua's mayor says it involves a tiny minority of the local iwi but they're fuelling resentment throughout the community.
“The tension is building, and the message I am getting from Muaupoko is that they have had a gutsful,” says Mayor Brendan Duffy.
“We have great supporters from within Muaopoko. They came yesterday and were grieving with us,” says Ms Mason.
3 News spoke to the man many blame for the vandalism. He said he had no connection to it and has an iron-tight alibi.
He did say, however, that the club is squatting on Maori land.
Police say their investigation is in its early stages and wouldn't talk about suspects.
The rowing club says it'll be weeks before any of their damaged boats are back on the water.
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3/10/2012 9:16:37 p.m.
Oh Alex you silly bugger. Thats like saying you can wait for your inheritance until I have ascertained your race and if you or any of your race were ever involved in any illegal activities then I will hold it indefinately until everyone fesses up to their crimes. Utter rubbish. Yes this is disgusting and in no way should all maori people be accused for a few idiots misgivings. There are idiots in all races. I certainly hope you think before you put pen to paper in such a racial slur. Most nzers have moved on from such thoughts and your national rantings dont help anyone
2/10/2012 10:22:21 a.m.
Enough is a enough every maori claim should be put on hold until the people who did this own up and are dealt with.
1/10/2012 10:37:58 p.m.
Joe King wrote:
This will foreshadow an escalation in events of this kind in New Zealand, as claims to ownership increase. The idea of ONE New Zealand and New Zealanders is quickly coming to an end.
1/10/2012 9:18:59 p.m.
No Katrina, some Nanny Judge will hit them across the wrist with a wet Bus ticket.
1/10/2012 7:04:08 p.m.
Shame on you people for doing such purposeful damage. I hope you get caught and thrown in jail then you can claim your jail cell.
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