'The council have no say' - Maori land squatter builds beachfront house without council consents




A long-term squatter on Maori land in Taranaki has raised the stakes by building a house on beachfront property at Waitara.

A large house that popped up in Taranaki has been deemed illegal by the local council, but the builder isn't listening.
Source: 1 NEWS

New Plymouth District Council says the structure is illegal and the Maori trust doesn't want Kevin Moore there.

But the former gang member says it is his ancestral land and he, his family and their new home won't be going anywhere.

The council says the house on the shore of East Beach is not consented, but Mr Moore says he doesn't need consent.

"The council, here on Maori land, have no say. So I just disregard what they say and just don't take no notice," he told 1 NEWS, standing in front of the house.

Mr Moore, his whanau and friends, started building the house less than two months ago without proper consents.

It is on Maori land run by the Rohutu Block Trust, with around 170 registered owners.

Mr Moore is not one of the them, but he claims ancestral links and has been squatting on the land for three years.

"We have the rights to do what we want. That's what I believe anyway," he said. 

The former Black Power member Kevin Moore was acquitted of murder in 1992, but later jailed for seven years over conspiring to pervert the course of justice in that case.   

Mr Moore says his past as a gang member shouldn't be part of the issue, despite claims of intimidation by some in the community.

He says he's taking a stand for his family, and it's about homelessness. 

"My family, they're struggling out there beyond that gate there to get a house to live in. There's about 10 people living in one house."

Both the Rohutu Block Trust and the New Plymouth District Council wouldn't appear on camera for 1 NEWS about the issue.

But in a statement, the council said it's organising to meet with the trustees about having the buildings consented. 

Meanwhile Kevin Moore says he's had the property blessed, and he, his family and their new home won't be going anywhere.

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