A group occupying a waterfront section in Ahipara since a pōhutukawa was partly cut down last October is bracing itself for eviction.
Occupation co-ordinator Rueben Taipari said police had visited the site last Thursday to serve him with an eviction notice.
He was not present at the time so police told the group occupying the Wharo Way site, known as Moringai, that they would be back on Monday.
As of this afternoon the group was still waiting.
"I was only down the road, I told police I'd come back and receive it — but they said they couldn't wait."
As the occupation co-ordinator, the notice had Taipari's name on it and had to be given to him in person.
"We've been here all weekend gearing up. We want to move into the next phase of our plan."
Taipari said a well-attended hui at the site on Sunday backed the group's actions so far, and came up with what he described as "tactical manoeuvres" for the next phase of the occupation.
He wouldn't say what those manoeuvres would entail.
Police were just doing their job if they served the eviction notice, Taipari said.
"It's nothing personal for me, it's just the process that occupations go through. What we decide to do about it is another matter."
The landowner, Kaitaia GP Cecil Williams, attended an earlier hui on April 3.
The group had offered some alternative solutions "but he wasn't keen", Taipari said.
Williams told the group it could have the land if they came up with the $500,000 he said he had paid for it in 2008.
If they didn't leave he would ask police to evict them.
Taipari said the group had discussed buying the land but would not pay $500,000 for 600sq m of sandy ground that is liable to flooding.
In the meantime, the group's research into the history of Moringai — plus their fears for the remaining half of the pōhutukawa — justified the continuing occupation, Taipari said.
"We are convinced we are going to get the land back and we have some great ideas about what we're going to do with it."
Williams couldn't be contacted today but the GP earlier told the Advocate he had been left with no choice, after waiting more than six months for a resolution, to put the section on the market in the hope of recouping the money he had spent on it.
He had originally intended to build his retirement home there but had now abandoned those plans.
Research by the Moringai group showed a significant amount of to-ing and fro-ing in 2003 over which part of the then-new subdivision would be made into a reserve.
Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi told the Advocate the iwi was convinced, after a previous 18-month occupation, the front two lots would be protected as a reserve.
He was surprised to discover the front section, which included the pōhutukawa, had been sold while only a 650sq m lot at 3 Wharo Way had been designated a historic reserve.