Appeal Court Upholds Iwi Right to Protect and Manage Treasured Resource

Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu is satisfied the Court of Appeal has upheld the convictions against David Anthony Saxton and Morgan David Saxton.
In 2008, the men were sentenced to over two years in prison after being found guilty of stealing pounamu from the Cascade Plateau, South Westland. They were also ordered to pay reparation of $300,000 and the judge ordered the return of the recovered stolen pounamu.

“We want to take this opportunity to commend the helicopter pilots, carvers, and businesses that continue to seek our advice about ways they can appropriately trade in Ngāi Tahu pounamu,” says Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Mark Solomon.

Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are about to launch a certification process designed to maintain the value and mana of pounamu.
“These court processes are unfortunate but we need to remind people that the theft of pounamu from Ngāi Tahu will result in prosecution supported by the full weight of the law,” Mark Solomon says. “The courts have upheld our right to protect and manage this treasured resource.”

Mō tātou,ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei
For us and our children after us

Background: David Anthony Saxton was originally sentenced to two years and nine months imprisonment and Morgan David Saxton was originally sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment in the Christchurch District Court. Morgan David Saxton is now deceased. Their appeals against conviction were dismissed today by the Court of Appeal. David Saxton’s appeal against sentence was allowed and his sentenced reduced to six months’ home detention. The Morgan Saxton appeal against sentence was dismissed.