The Environment Court has ruled that the Transport Agency must stop moves to take ancestral Waikanae land from Patricia Grace.
Radio New Zealand reports that the court says it would not be fair to compulsorily take the land for the Kapiti Expressway, particularly when an alternate route or method is available. The court established that a minor realignment of the expressway would mean the road would avoid her land and the local Maori cemetery.
The DomPost reports that the court ruled that the proposed taking of her land could not be supported as being “fair, sound and reasonably necessary . . . and should not proceed any further”.
In the decision, Environment Court judge Craig Thompson and Environment Court commissioners Kevin Prime and David Kernohan acknowledged the historical significance of Grace’s land and stressed she was not looking for her own financial gain.
The Maori Land Court had earlier recommended that the land be given special Maori reservation status, which would make it inalienable, or unable to be taken.