Canterbury's Greenpark Huts residents vow to fight after iwi tells them to demolish homes and move

The small seaside Canterbury settlement of Greenpark Huts is reeling tonight after being told by Ngai Tahu they have to demolish their homes and move out by 2024.

The small Canterbury settlement sits near the edge of Lake Ellesmere and has had homes there for 100 years with some families there for generations.

Greenpark Huts - where 32 baches and homes sit on the edge of Lake Ellesmere. It's a peaceful quiet place with simple living and cheap housing.

But homeowners are furious tonight after landowner Ngai Tahu told them the leases will not be renewed when they expire in June 2024.

"A lot of people are angry, there's a lot of angry people here," resident Robert Dickey says.

Angry after they say they were blindsided by Ngai Tahu's decision. The iwi says the reason for booting them out is a limited availability of quality drinking water, the inevitable impact of rising sea levels and many non-compliant wastewater systems.

"They haven't given us the chance to comply, they just say 'you're out in three years, that's it, you're gone'," Dickey says.

Homeowner and pensioner Rod Mullally has lived here off and on since he was a small child. He says the climate change excuse is a poor one after they were told the sea levels will eventually rise by two metres.

"If this comes up two metres, you can write off Christchurch, that'll be gone," he says.

The community is rallying to see what they can do to stop it.

"We'll fight it, we're going to fight it," Mullally says.

"Whether we'll achieve anything I don't know but we're not going to lay down and let them walk all over us."

The first huts were erected here in the early 1900s and Ngai Tahu gained ownership of the land in 1998 as part of its Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

The people here have been given just under four years to get out and what's more all the buildings and belongings must be gone too at their own expense without a penny of compensation offered by the iwi.

In a statement to Newshub Ngai Tahu says the huts sit on a site of immense significance to the iwi for cultural reasons and mahinga kai - the natural resources of the area. They realise it's upsetting to the leaseholders but say there was never a guarantee of ongoing tenancy on the land.

The land these residents call home.