Maori group claims valuable piece of land in Sydney because ‘their ancestors were gifted it 200 years ago’ – and they’re even charging for parking and demanding compensation
- The Rangihou people say Aboriginal leaders handed them the land back in 1811
- The 112 acre parcel of land in central Parramatta includes Robin Thomas Reserve
- City of Parramatta Council dispute the claims and want the matter dismissed
A group of Maori people are calling for valuable land in Sydney’s west to be handed over to them, claiming they were gifted the area by Aboriginal people more than 200 years ago.
The Rangihou people say their king was handed the land in Parramatta by leaders of the Burramattagal Clan back in 1811 after they were first invited over from New Zealand.
The 45-hectare parcel of land lies in an eastern section of central Parramatta.
It includes parkland, James Ruse Reserve, Robin Thomas Reserve, Rangihou Reserve and a section of the Parramatta River.
‘We are Ngati Rangihou Corrangie Hapu and we are here to reclaim Rangihou land,’ the group’s leader Lady Crown told 9 News.
Rangihou leader Lady Crown said her people want the history books corrected – and to be paid compensation for damage done to the land
‘We want acknowledgement and recognition. We want the history books corrected, and compensation for damages of the land.
‘We have the first laws in time, so our laws stand above any other law in the land.’
The Rangihou people attempted to seize some of the land in March by changing the locks on the Waratah Soccer Club.
They also charged people to use the car park of their makeshift set-up, before being evicted after four days.
In a statement, City of Parramatta Council said they ‘dispute the claims being made… and have applied to have the matter dismissed’.
Lady Crown is an ancestor of Paramount Chief Te Pahi, Maori King Hongi Hika, Queen Turikatuku III and Maori King Te Ruki Kawiti.
Lady Crown has previously claimed that her ancestors were invited over from New Zealand in 1805 and lived alongside the Burramattagal Clan in Parramatta.
‘Every day I witness theft, destruction and degradation of culture, values, traditions, customs and sacred lands, due to the greed by these corporations,’ Lady Crown said.
‘In the last two years, 1100 apartments have been built within metres of the sacred burial site at Rangihou.
‘This act of greed only benefits corporate shareholders with the intention of minimising our rights on our lands.’
The Rangihou people have brought Parramatta City Council to the Federal Court ‘with an application to wind up the Parramatta City Council and reclaim the land,’ a statement from the group said on Wednesday.
A court ruling over who the land belongs to will be handed down in a matter of weeks.
The 45-hectare parcel of land in an eastern section of central Parramatta includes parkland, James Ruse Reserve, Robin Thomas Reserve, Rangihou Reserve and a section of Parramatta River