Asset sales decision not binding – Key
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 6:03p.m.
By Patrick Gower
The fight against asset sales moved to the Waitangi Tribunal today, where the Maori Council wants the sales put on hold until claims to Maori ownership of water are decided.
But Prime Minister John Key says it won't work because the Government will just ignore the tribunal.
But they are calling for asset sales to be stopped because Maori own the water the power companies rely on.
“Maori own the freshwater,” says Maori Council chairman Maanu Paul. “They own the geothermal water and they own the aquifers under the ground and the lakes and rivers.”
The claim is that “Maori have proprietary rights to fresh water and geothermal resources", and therefore "[assets sales] will prejudice Maori in breach of the Treaty of Waitangi”.
The Maori Council wants the sales stopped until this question is answered.
“We need to sit down and work out how much you are going to pay us to use our water,” says Mr Paul.
The claim covers Maori challenges to resources directly related to the first asset for sale, Mighty River Power.
Yet Mr Key says even if the Tribunal rules in favour it does not matter – it is not binding.
That is wrong, says retired High Court Judge Eddie Durie, who is spearheading the Maori Council claim.
“That's like turning your back against a law and that's a pretty heavy thing to do,” he says.
The council is prepared to make a heavy response. It will go to a higher court, for a binding injunction, before shares to Mighty River Power go on sale as expected in September.
Mr Key's attitude towards the Tribunal was called a political snub to his governing partner, the Maori Party.
“I think now is the time for the Maori party to say ‘if you are not even bothering listening, we are out’,” says Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.
It's understood the Government is expecting a legal challenge of some form to come from Maori. But strategists say they are confident of winning.
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12/07/2012 12:51:31 p.m.
What Maori don't realise is that when they signed the treaty they gave up ownership of everything to the queen and as the crown acts in her interests if she wants to sell off anything then she has every right too.Needless to say there will be some very happy English millionaires/billionaires including the royals once these sales proceed.None more so than Baron Michael Ashcroft a personal friend of John Key who visited NZ during the election campaign.
11/07/2012 6:49:44 p.m.
John Key will take as much as he can get away with. Mining, selling State assets, shonkey pokies, foreign ownership, cutting state services. Is this all he can do? Oh I forgot the under funded cycle ways. This will be his legacy.
10/07/2012 9:31:20 a.m.
I had read in law that you can own the property but the Queen owns the water. This meaning the Queen is to care for the water ways everyone has rights to the water that ran across their property but they cannot stop the natural flow of the water and the Queen could not profit from NZ'ers out of the water ways. This is only what i had read in law.
10/07/2012 1:26:16 a.m.
I do not hear the Maori Party saying much, could it be because Tariana's smoking bill is getting in without a glitch i think so.
Come on Maori Party, fight harder and help your people, don't be weak like you were with the foreshore and seabed saga,sellouts.
9/07/2012 11:24:47 p.m.
Tania Peita wrote:
Well isnt that wonderful, our own government ignoring the decision of the Maori council. Guess its just another way of saying, we really dont care about the people, especially maori people. We want to sale off these assests to fill our pockets. Tooo bloody bad for those that arent on the take or are maori. Thank you very much Mr Keys aka the shonKEY donKEY!!!!!!!!!
9/07/2012 11:01:50 p.m.
@ Jim Seaview: Yes John Key won the election but his coalition didn't even have a majority of the total votes cast.
Here is the breakdown of the coalition's share of the popular vote:
National - 47.31%
ACT - 1.07%
United Future - 0.60%
Total - 48.98%
9/07/2012 9:39:46 p.m.
Only 33 percent of the adult population voted John Key into Power... 66 percent didnt so what happens if 66 percent decide they want Key out as a result of his arrogant ignorance and stupidity Eddie?.
9/07/2012 8:57:22 p.m.
"Who cares what 15% of the population think...". Wow. I'm pretty certain thats the foundation philosophy for ignorance and racism. And by the look of the rest of your 'rant' you're well on your way to perfecting those two traits. Nice work Eddie. As long as you and yours are ok then stuff the rest? You need to wake up.
9/07/2012 8:55:07 p.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE: "The fight against asset sales moved to the Waitangi Tribunal today, where the Maori Council wants the sales put on hold until claims to Maori ownership of water are decided.But Prime Minister John Key says it won't work because the Government will just ignore the tribunal."The Maori Council are now being used by the Labour and Greens parties to destabilise asset sales. The National Government had a clear mandate given to them to sell 49% of some state assets. They campaigned all last year on this and Labour campaigned on Capital gains taxes, removing gst off food and raising the age of Superannuation entitlement.At Election time the voters looked at what was being offered and voted the Nats back in by 2 to 1 votes to Labour.Maori Council chairman Maanu Paul states - “They own the geothermal water and they own the aquifers under the ground and the lakes and rivers.” This is just another way of trying to ressurect the Seabed and Foreshore claims they tried to get under Labour.What next Hydrogen 2 / Oxygen 1!!!!!Thank heavens the John Key has stated that they will ignore any Tribunal decision. Any decision they make is not binding by any elected Government to implement.
9/07/2012 8:18:30 p.m.
@Eddie: You do realise that on top of the "15%" you're referring to is another 70% of the population, right? Asset sales cannot and must not go ahead. If they do, John Key would be arrested immediately. In fact, come to think of it, maybe this could be a good thing...
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