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“Gangsters Stole My Land!”

The Allan Titford Story (Part III)

by H. Ross Baker

In part three of this fascinating story we reveal how legal documents sought by Titford in a bid to retain ownership of his land were refused, but were obtained under the Official Information Act by Ross Baker of the One New Zealand Foundation Inc.

“I Still Own My Land,” Says Titford, “Give It Back!”

The Manuwhetai area under claim amounted to only 110 acres, about 90 of which were part of Titford’s title, with the rest registered under 38 other titles. The Tribunal ruled that Titford should lose all of his land as well as all his cattle, some 1450 animals, not just the 90 acres originally claimed by Te Roroa.

Interviewed by elocal magazine, Allan Titford points to a map explaining the location of Wi Pou’s proposed Whangai-ariki reserve, just south of Maunganui Bluff. In the immediate background are the remains of the pa of Ngapuhi chiefs Te Kaha and Te Kairua. It acted as a forward position for Ngapuhi to protect their northern lands from Te Roroa, Uri-o-Hau and Ngati Whatua enemies between 1806 and 1825.

Allan Titford then produces a telegram he had discovered at the Alexander Turnbull Library, sent from Napier by Stephenson Percy Smith to Theophilus Heale in Auckland, October 20, 1875 at 2.40pm in reference to the deed (No.864) to Maunganui Bluff, stating that the very preliminary Manuwhetai reserve proposal undertaken by the private surveyors for Wi Pou of Ngaitu is not to be approved and will go no further.

According to Ross Baker and Martin Doutre, many more authentic documents have been located since 1996 that prove the validity of Titford’s fee simple freehold land title and suggest that the Waitangi Tribunal ruling was outright fraud. An impartial, competent researcher would quickly ascertain by close scrutiny of the paper-trail that several court rulings on the matter between 1899 and 1942 delivered the correct documented and witnessed decision.

On September 3, 1994 the Crown made one last offer of the Phillips Fox draft agreement to Mr Titford for his whole farm, based on its reduced valuation since the Rural Bank had seized Mr Titford’s bank accounts in 1989. The Crown accepted this claim in 1990 and the Waitangi Tribunal therefore had no other option than to accepted Te Roroa’s claim. As the bank had virtually run his farm into the ground, Mr Titford increased the valuation to before the Maori claim was placed on his farm, plus another couple of amendments, and returned the agreement.

The Crown rejected his offer saying they were not going to be blackmailed by Titford, when in fact the opposite appeared to be happening with the help of the police and the media.

On November 21, 1995, Federated Farmers on Mr Titford’s behalf offered a proposal using two registered valuers’ valuations, one from Federated Farmers and the other from the National Bank. But the government also rejected these offers as they the Crown was only offering 40% full and final.

In the meantime, according to Mr Titford senior, he and Allan’s brother Brian had been offered $500,000 by the Crown to declare Allan Titford insane, assume a power of attorney and sign the sale agreement on Allan’s behalf. The family totally rejected the offer/ bribe, as detailed in an affidavit from Mr Titford senior and an entry from Don Harrison’s diary when he spoke to the Hon John Carter about the alleged bribe. The Titford parents were, thereafter, threatened with a mortgagee sale of their Puhoi farm, having co-signed as guarantors to Allan’s purchase of the Maunganui Bluff farms.

On December 6, 1995 the Crown re-extended its 1994 offer, which had been discussed on numerous occasions with their lawyer Clive Jackson. By this time Mr Titford was virtually bankrupt and with the National Bank (which had bought out the Rural Bank) breathing down his neck, he perused the 1994 agreement again with Mr Samec, the Crown’s instructed and paid Notary Public Tasmanian lawyer.

He agreed, but under duress to sign the agreement drafted by Phillips Fox in 1994 on December 8, 1995 with one amendment: that the Titford family would not be held responsible for any further claims by the Crown on any matter. This was negotiated by Mr Titford senior. Mr Titford senior’s farm, which had been in the family for over 150 years, was held as collateral and would also have been lost if Allan Titford had gone bankrupt. Mr Samec notified the Crown Law Office and the Crown agreed to this clause.

Without Mr Titford’s consent (or, it seems, anyone else’s, including parliament and its ministers) Helen Aikman, Crown Counsel, Crown Law Office had been hard at work drafting a completely new agreement between December 8 (15 pages), 1995 when the Titfords had agreed (under duress - refer to the above documents), to the old 1994 agreement. On December 11 1995 when she sent her new agreement to Mr Samec (now 20 pages),. These new ‘draft’ agreements were sent to Mr Samec on the afternoon of December 11, 1995 to be signed by Mr and Mrs Titford and witnessed by Mr Sam Samec early the next morning (December 12) without legal advice. Titford initialed only one third of the twenty pages.

Mrs Titford initialed all her pages, “the schedules one and two referred to in Sue’s agreement (Allan’s wife) were missing therefore made the documents just useless pieces of paper” comments Allan Titiford. Mr Titford’s agreement was effectively a draft only, not full and final. “This agreement has no legal standing whatsoever,” says Titford. “I have even had Queens Council advice on this. Furthermore, I had documents retrieved through the official information act five years later and again the same documents another five years later and a date has been added without my knowledge or consent! Another fraudulent strike of the pen.”

Mr Titford’s comment at the end of the memorandum was, “I Allan Titford believe we have been pushed into this list of creditors as a result of the Waitangi Tribunal claim”. Mr Titford believes he was an innocent party to this claim and was forced into virtual bankruptcy by the Crown, the police and the Rural/National Bank to settle the alleged claim that had been rejected by parliament in 1942.

Interesting to note that the National Bank reduced the liability to the Crown by $200,000 if the Crown would insert a clause in the Crown Law Office’s agreement stopping Mr Titford from suing the bank for any shortfalls created by the bank. When the bank was asked for information into its involvement, they were told the bank had to get permission, but later came back to say they could not locate the files; files that showed an outstanding debt to the bank of $1.8 million missing!

One could conclude, and indeed researcher Ross Baker believes, that the execution by the Crown Law Office of the agreements on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen were not legal under New Zealand law and that the Crown Law Office is not above the law!

The so called ‘sale and purchase agreement’ does not comply with the 1948 land act or in fact any other act. “This makes this document null and void. In fact, irregularities in the way they sale was conducted were also illegal under the Land Transfer Act 1952, so I want my land back,” states Titford. “I never signed the documents beyond a draft.”

In summary, Allan Titford was forced “under duress” to sell land he never wanted to sell. “It was a false claim,” says Titford shaking his head, at only a fraction of its true value, or be forced into bankruptcy with his father’s farm, held as security, being taken as well, all for an “alleged” Treaty of Waitangi claim that was rejected by parliament in 1942! Unbelievable? Not so.

The Waitangi Tribunal has more powers than you would think possible over and above the Courts of New Zealand that heard this claim in 1939 and Parliament that rejected it 1942. The Waitangi Tribunal recommended this claim without one document of support and the Crown Law Office tampered with documents to acquire Mr Titford’s land for a claim that was found to be a fraud in 1942 and again in 1995, according to Ross Baker researcher the Crown still proceeded to steal this land from an innocent New Zealand Citizen.

The Key Players

Helen Aikman

Crown Counsel, Crown Law Office; drafted the new agreements that had the memorandum removed, and must have known Mr Titford did not have legal advice. She acted for Mary-Anne Thompson during the latter’s trial.

Mary–Anne Thompson

Acting director of the Office of Treaty Settlements during Te Roroa’s Settlement. She was later convicted of falsifying documents whilst director of the Immigration Department in 2008.

The Hon Douglas Graham

Minister of Treaty Settlements and Justice. Signed the deed of sale acknowledging this was only an alleged claim. He was later convicted of breaching the Securities Act on another matter.

Document excerpts

Allan Titford spent years sifting through legal files and gaining a dossier of authentic documents in order to prove the validity of his fee simple freehold land title and that the Waitangi Tribunal ruling was, in his view, outright fraud. Images are below.

  1. Affidavit of Allan Titford's father, Douglas, that he and his wife would be remunerated $500K, should they declare Allan of an unsound mind
  2. A page from the diary of Allan's neighbour, Don Harrison, in which he writes of his discussion with the Hon John Carter over the bribe
  3. A letter dated 8 Dec 1995, indicated Titford's acceptance of the original Crown offer, subject to inclusion of an additional clause, 7(1)c(i)
  4. “This is being signed under protest and due to the Nank's foreclosure and the Crowns recent attempt to declare the Vendor insane in order to get power of attorney...”
  5. Memo showing the Crown Law Office was concerned about Mr Titford’s amendment and memorandum
  6. A new agreement was drafted by the Crown Law Office and sent to Titford's lawyers on 11 Dec 1995
  7. The original agreement was drafted by Phillips Fox Solicitors
  8. Letter from Phillips Fox refusing Mr Titford’s lawyer a copy of the agreement, which he later said he would have advised Mr Titford “not to sign”

‘The Manuwhetai area under claim amounted to only 110 acres, about 90 of which were part of Titford’s title, with the rest registered under 38 other titles. The Tribunal ruled that Titford should lose all of his land as well as all his cattle, some 1450 animals, not just the 90 acres originally claimed by Te Roroa.’

‘Allan Titford was forced “under duress” to sell land he never wanted to sell, at only a fraction of its true value, or be forced into bankruptcy with his father’s farm, held as security, being taken as well, all for an “alleged” Treaty of Waitangi claim that was rejected by parliament in 1942!’

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