A Far North land protest has raised the ire of a commercial real estate group.

Connal Townsend, Property Council chief executive, said private land rights were in danger of being usurped by private land occupations.

John and Wikatana Popata have been occupying a waterfront site at 55 Taipa Point Rd, Taipa, claiming it was stolen from local iwi Ngati Kahu.

Mr Townsend said he was concerned about the move, which he saw as a threat to freedom of a landowner to have free access to property and to sell it if they wanted. "Private land rights are paramount. It's a fundamental right for us. I take a very dim view of squatters because it's a matter of trespass and we would want the police to intervene," he said.

But Kaitaia police last week rejected that. No trespass complaint has been laid by landowner Kevyn Male, an Auckland entrepreneur who wants to sell the site which can be subdivided for about 12 houses.

Mr Townsend heads the Auckland-based council which is the country's main organisation for commercial, retail and industrial property consultants, managers and landlords responsible for real estate worth $24 billion.

Landowners' rights must be protected, he said. "The Property Council has always taken a very robust view towards private land rights."

Ngati Kahu was party to a big claim settlement reached between the Crown and the Te Hiku iwi last the weekend.

The 40,000-strong iwi comprises Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Te Rarawa and Ngati Kahu and on January 16 an agreement in principle was reached about historical claims.

That could see Ninety Mile Beach renamed and will result in a $120 million payment, of which Ngati Kahu will get $23.04 million.

The deal also includes the transfer of the Aupouri Forest and seven Crown-owned stations worth $25 million.

Ngati Kuri gets the Department of Conservation's Te Paki Station ($4.69 million). Te Aupouri gets the Office of Treaty Settlements' Cape View Station ($1.56 million) and Landcorp Farming's Te Raite Station ($1.15 million).

Te Rarawa and Ngati Takoto get Landcorp's Sweetwater Station ($12.78 million) and Te Rarawa gets Landcorp's Te Karae Station ($400,000).

Ngati Kahu gets Landcorp's Rangiputa Station ($4.1 million) and the Office of Treaty Settlements' Kohumaru Station ($680,000).


Last Saturday's Ti Hiku iwi Crown cash and property settlement:

* Ngati Kuri$21.04m
* Te Aupouri $21.04m
* Ngati Takoto $21.04m
* Te Rarawa $33.84m
* Ngati Kahu $23.04m