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HomeNew ZealandHigh Court orders immediate halt to removal of Te Urewera huts

High Court orders immediate halt to removal of Te Urewera huts

One of the Department of Conservation back country huts in Te Urewera given historic status within the department, Waiotukapiti Hut, is a rare totara-slab hut built in the 1950s by the Department of Internal Affairs as a base for deer cullers.

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Te Waiotukapiti hut in Te Urewera. This particular hut was given historic status within the Department of Conservation.
Photo: Supplied / Pete Shaw

The High Court has ordered an immediate halt to pulling down a network of huts throughout Te Urewera.

Stuff broke news this morning but the judgment of Justice Mark Woolford in the High Court at Rotorua has just been released in full.

The ruling comes after a growing row over the huts.

The Tūhoe settlement entity, Te Uru Taumatua, plans to dismantle 48 huts which it says are derelict, though it said many would be replaced, and until then, some temporary shelters would be put in place.

But Wharenui Clyde, who is also Tūhoe, has gone to the High Court to stop the programme saying he is concerned about the loss of access to Te Urewera for he and his whanau “to use the huts as a base for food gathering, recreational and cultural purposes”.

He said authorities had not taken into account the culture and heritage of the huts, and failed to consult on their plan.

He was backed in his application by a conservationist and former manager of Te Urewera Mainland Island project Peter Shaw, who said he was worried that there would be reduced public access to the area if the huts were removed.

Justice Woolford granted the injunction saying there needed to be a hearing on the issues and ordered demolition to stop.

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