A trespass charge against Maori activist Phillip Taueki has been dropped after a three-year fight, bringing the tally of charges against him that have been withdrawn, dismissed or quashed on appeal to more than 30.

Mr Taueki, a member of Muaūpoko iwi, which has ancestral rights to Lake Horowhenua and land around it, had the trespass charge brought against him by Police after being found in the Lake Horowhenua rowing club, which is on his iwi land, in 2015.

The case has been heard in both the district and high courts.

Mr Taueki's lawyer Michael Bott told RNZ the prosecution's case was flawed because the board had "failed to establish any reason for the trespass order".


"There's nothing in the minutes to show that any grounds were in contemplation of the board when they made their decision to trespass," he said.

Mr Taueki has been involved in multiple court proceedings and altercations with local entities including the district council.

He has been living in a former nursery building on land by the lake for the past 14 years and claims he was originally instated there as a kaitiaki or guardian.

A statement from Mr Taueki said his status as an owner of Lake Horowhenua had been recognised by the Supreme Court.

He said he had protested at the time of his arrest that the trespass notice "was not worth the paper it was written on".

"If the Police had bothered to check the validity of this trespass notice, this case would have been abandoned years ago," the statement said.
"It was just another attempt to steal our property rights by stealth."

The statement said a report had been sent to the United Nations Human Rights Commission about Mr Taueki's case.

At the hearing on Friday the police prosecutor offered no evidence and the trespass charge was dismissed.