Road blocked to power company

Western Bay of Plenty farmer Dennis Ormsby has blocked a small rural road in McLaren Falls to electricity company TrustPower, making it difficult for the Tauranga business to access one of its power stations.

TrustPower and the Ormsby family began disputing ownership of the road in 2005.

Dennis says his father allowed Tauranga City Council to build the road in 1968 but never relinquished ownership.

TrustPower took over ownership of the Lloyd Mandeno Power Station in 1998, along with the title to the road.

He gave the electricity company seven days to meet with him and his lawyers, or he would block the road, and that deadline expired at 4pm on Monday.

Despite being issued with a trespass notice, Dennis says the blockade will continue until a meeting is held.

He notified TrustPower about the blockade shortly after it was put in place at 8am on Tuesday.

“I’ve informed them. It was a very quiet reaction. They just said okay and hung up on me.”

Dennis expects the police will eventually arrive to enforce the trespass notice.

He says the bulldozer will be removed if they arrive, but it will be put back the next day.

“That will continue until they come and meet with me.”

Peri Kohu, a treaty settlements negotiator with various Western Bay of Plenty iwi, joined Dennis at the blockade on Tuesday morning.

“I’m here offering support. This land is confiscated land, according to the evidence I’m looking at.”

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