Taipa, Doubtless Bay  [October 22, 2010]
One of the biggest stories of the year in the Far North involved the occupation of a waterfront reserve at Taipa by members of Ngati Kahu iwi [tribe]. Led by the Popata brothers Wikatana (front, with a whalebone taiaha [ceremonial spear]) and John Junior (middle), the rolling occupation dragged on for months, polarising the national debate over land rights. The brothers said the land had been stolen from their iwi by colonial authorities in the 19th century, and should be returned; the Far North District Council said it owned the reserve, and a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal - not an occupation - was the way to resolve the dispute.