The ownership is disputed: Mata-Atua McNair is chairperson representing a group of 10 family lines, but they are at odds with other landowners including the Muri Aronga Mana.
McNair says the dispute is complex: she argues the Aronga Mana has no place in this argument, and the registered owners should have the only say over the land’s administration.
Ngatangiia/Matavera Sports Association was offered nearly $160,000 by the Government of Japan this year, to build a health and fitness centre that would include a training terrace, upgrading the existing toilets and showers, and the installation of a kitchen facility.
Sports Association President Kaka Ama said at the time, “that such an amazing opportunity has been extended to the village”.
But Japan withdrew the offer after those landowners represented by McNair went to court, to challenge the plans.
Ama earlier gave an assurance the committee would continue to work with all landowners, especially those that had expressed opposition, to clear up any issues related to the project and their mandate as a Sports Association.
However, construction did not get underway due to landowners opposing the project, and seeking a court injunction to stop contruction.
Ama, could not be reached for comment yesterday.