Police abandon court battle to trespass Māori activist

RNZ reports Police have abandoned a long-running court battle to bring a trespass charge against a Māori activist, who has been living on his ancestral land next to Lake Horowhenua for 14 years.
Phil Taueki has lived beside Lake Horowhenua for 13 years in protest at its degradation and the loss of his iwi’s rights.
Mr Taueki has been fighting the charge since 2015 when he was trespassed by the Horowhenua Domain Board.
Mr Taueki’s lawyer, Michael Bott, says the prosecution’s case was fatally flawed because the board had failed to establish any reason for the trespass order.
His client is a member of the Muaūpoko iwi, who own the lake and the land around it.
“There’s nothing in the minutes to show that any grounds were in contemplation of the board when they made their decision to trespass and as such it was fatal to the prosecution.”
Mr Bott says the case had been bounced between the district court, the high court and back again.
But ultimately the Crown has decided the case is hopeless, the police prosecutor yesterday offered no evidence and the charge was dismissed.