Maori have water rights - crown lawyers
Fri, 13 Jul 2012 6:06p.m.
By Tova O’Brien
Lawyers representing the Crown at an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing have acknowledged Maori do have rights to water, including water used by state owned energy companies being primed for sale.
It is a different line from the one the prime minister has been using - that no one owns the water.
Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul said he believes it has given them an advantage.
“If I were a betting man I think I’m on the favourite. I think we’re riding a winning horse here,” said Mr Paul.
His optimism comes after Crown lawyer Paul Radich acknowledged that Maori do have interests in water.
That includes water used by energy companies the Government plans to sell.
The Crown says Maori water rights need to be defined but that those rights will not be affected by selling energy assets. This is because energy companies have limited rights and a limited time to use water, and because shareholding isn't a right of governance or management within a company.
Ultimately it will come down to the tribunal ruling at the end of the month and whether the prime minister chooses to listen.
If he does not – expect the fight to get louder.
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27/08/2012 8:47:45 a.m.
Stand Tall Maori and claimed your right of way to your treasures, you were bilnd folded once upon a time but not anymore.. Stand Tall Iwis, Stand Tall..
20/07/2012 9:42:15 a.m.
The confusion arises because of different concepts of ownership. In Pakeha culture, individual or private “ownership” can be bought or sold, to control or monopolise usage. In Maori culture, collective guardianship(kaitiakitanga) is to safeguard common treasures (taonga) for the wellbeing of all and future generations. It is far more dangerous what John Key wants to do, which would be to allow private interests to have control over rivers. The Maori concept of guardianship protects water for all of us. Making more efforts to understand this will help.
17/07/2012 6:31:57 p.m.
Why should foreign ownership have rights to our water to fleece us with high power costs? and to fill their own pockets. Does the money they take benefit NZers? The answer is no.
17/07/2012 1:10:00 p.m.
I am a 5th generation New Zealander. I was born and raised on a property which bordered the Whanganui River and had a smaller river running through it. The rivers sustained our "hapu" - we swam in them, we fished them, they watered our stock and irrigated our land. I consider this land and the rivers to be part of me and who I am. Wouldn't it be nice for me if I had the pre requiste amount of Maori blood in me that would allow me to take a claim for ownership of that water to the Waitangi Tribunual. I am precluded from doing so because I don't. I have always been a supporter of the Waitangi Tribunual as a mechanism for righting injustices of the past. I appeal to the members of that Tribunual to recognise that if they rule in favour of their Maori only applicants they will be the creators of an injustice that will divide and marginalise the majority of New Zealanders.
17/07/2012 1:09:59 p.m.
16/07/2012 8:56:53 p.m.
That one race may have more rights than another is the seed of apartheid.
15/07/2012 4:31:58 a.m.
Grant Latimer wrote:
The issue of water rights as brought into the limelight by the Maori party has really started to drive an unnecessary wedge in New Zealand. Sadly this outragous claim is unfortunately made from the bounds of financial gain rather than enviromental sustainibility. Come on guys where does it stop ! it certainly isnt uniting the New Zealand people, rather alienating Maori from the rest of the population of New Zealand people. I like many will be following this issue very closely and at this stage applaud John Keys stand. Mr Sharples where is your direction taking us.? Really...you people do not own the water, nor the seabed and foreshore.! This began with a piece of land in Raglan and the claims to more and more have flowed since. Reflect on how Sir Tipene O'Regan through sound business practice and a keen eye for the bigger picture has gained so much sucess with his South Island fishing ventures and re-capitalisation of his own Ngai Tahu people. Also do some research on the Maketu Blocks in Gisborne. another Maori owned co-operation that has made their farmlands into a productive profitable enterprise,and to be guardians of ancestral lands optimising resources to create a sustainable future. It does so with the support and talent of New Zealand people.Rua Kenana hit the nail on the haed..'Kotahi te ture mo nga iwi e rua' One law for both peoples.Back off and be happy with what we have in New Zealand rather than strive through more claims that are now taking things just a bit far.
14/07/2012 4:31:29 p.m.
Maori rights, will look after the rivers, so i' am good for that.
14/07/2012 10:53:50 a.m.
Its called being modern Mike... no legal case is judged by british common law these days... lets not also forget that the british during the time you speak of were heavily into genocide.
Grow up you silly little paid mouthpiece.
You get paid to comment in favour of National... so why should we listen to your absolute twaddle?.
14/07/2012 8:55:32 a.m.
Actually Mark, thats incorrect.
H2go own their own mineral springs.... shock horror.
And I am european so you own your racism too lol
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