Airline may quit Kaitaia if protests continue

A Maori flag flies above Kaitaia Airport
A Maori flag flies above Kaitaia Airport

A Far North iwi vowing to hold another protest at Kaitaia Airport over a Treaty of Waitangi settlement is being urged to reconsider.

Five members of Ngati Kahu were arrested yesterday when police swooped on the terminal after two days of disruptions.

Andy Knox from Far North Holdings says Barrier Air could quit the small Northland town if it continues.

"We can't afford to lose the airline, and that's all that this would serve to do," Mr Knox told RadioLIVE.

"That would be a significant impact on the local economy.

Those arrested have been charged with trespass, as they refused to move from the site.

Ngati Kahu claims the airport land was taken from a family during World War II.

Their occupation prevented the landing of a plane carrying five medical specialists, including a paediatrician and a dentist.

3 News