The Te Arawa Lakes Trust has hit back at a claim it is trying to bully a young Maketū couple to leave their "cherished" family home of 40 years.
Aaron Pascoe, 37, said he, his heavily pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter, were given until noon on Thursday to leave their Little Waihi property after the landowner, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, served a trespass notice on them earlier this week.
Pascoe is vowing to fight the eviction notice and said they were staying put.
His grandparents, Kenneth and Hunakiwhangara Broughton, bought the home in 1979 while also agreeing to lease the land the house sits on from Te Arawa.
Pascoe said the family kept up to date with their leasehold payments until last year when Hunakiwhangara died in March. Her husband had died in 2009.
He said the lease did not expire until 2023 and had offered to continue making payments but the trust refused and served them with a trespass notice.
Pascoe earlier told the Bay of Plenty Times, in his opinion "the trust is trying to bully us to leave, which is so unfair".
"How this has all happened is quite unfortunate and the trust's communication with us over this whole stressful situation has been very bad," he said.
Pascoe said he and his family would not be forced out of the only home he had known for 37 years, and his wife was due to have their second child in about six weeks, he said.
He received an email from the Tenancy Services in Rotorua late on Thursday which mentioned the possibility of mediation and hoped that would be possible.
In a written statement, a Te Arawa Lakes Trust spokesperson said the situation was complex and for privacy and legal reasons, it would not discuss the specifics.
"What we can say is that we have endeavoured to work and communicate not only with those legally responsible for the estate but with all involved for some time.
"The recent developments were actions taken only as a last resort in order to resolve the situation for everyone involved, including other residents in the village and the trust."
"Little Waihi is a special community. The trust has a positive relationship with the village committee and those living in the village, including many families who have been residents for generations.
"For a number of different reasons, we're unable to comment further, " the trust spokesperson said.
The Bay of Plenty Times Weekend sought further comment from Pascoe, but he did not respond by our deadline. Tenancy Services were also unavailable for comment.