PM concedes asset sales delay
Mon, 16 Jul 2012 6:08p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
Prime Minister John Key has conceded the first asset sale could be delayed because a legal challenge from Maori over water ownership is looking increasingly inevitable.
The admission comes as the pressure builds on Tariana Turia to lead the Maori Party out of Government.
The battle over who owns water is getting down to the nitty-gritty at the Waitangi Tribunal, with lawyers pouring over the fine details.
The Government is due to sell 49 percent of Mighty River Power in September, but the Prime Minister now admits legal action from Maori may force the sale to be delayed.
“You can't rule that out,” says Mr Key. “It's a matter that could be subject to court action. We certainly hope it's not delayed."
Court action from Maori has always been an option, but now Mr Key has gone a step further, saying it seems inevitable.
“I think we should work on the principle that there is a high probability that we will be going to court.”
Mr Key is due to meet Maori Party co-leaders Ms Turia and Pita Sharples over this issue on Wednesday.
Ms Turia has hinted she may yet walk out of the Government if a solution is not found.
Some Maori at the hearing are urging her to put her pay, perks and Crown limo aside and split.
“Position herself for freedom and the rights of our people rather than take the money as the Prime Minister's friend at the table,” says Mana Party member Annette Sykes.
“It's crunch time,” says Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul. “You either have money or you have mana, and it appears the Maori Party is all for the money.”
Ms Turia wouldn't be interviewed today but in a statement said: "The focus should be on the kaupapa of the claim at this time and not the party politics, which we consider to be a secondary issue."
Mr Key is confident the Maori Party will sit tight.
“We have a good constructive working relationship with them and I'm sure that will continue,” says Mr Key.
That is a statement to which Ms Sykes made an impassioned plea to the political leader from Whanganui – don't forget where you're from, your awa, your river.
“She is the awa and the awa is her.”
The only certainty about this issue is uncertainty itself. Ms Turia is likely to stay with the Government for now as leverage to get Maori some kind of deal.
But if she doesn't get her way, then anything is possible.
The foreshore and seabed issue created the Maori Party. For Maori, the river and water claims are no different and Ms Turia is under incredible pressure.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
3/09/2012 11:19:18 p.m.
Well done John good stuff! That is all for now.
19/07/2012 9:55:32 a.m.
Simon. Paora is statistically correct. When you choose not to vote, your vote automatically defaults to support the party with the most votes. In fact, I feel you should also lose all rights to criticise a system you choose not to be a part of.
Paora was only making a counter point to the % Phil was trying to use that was factually inaccurate, misplaced and proved nothing because of people like yourself who choose not to vote for the 'best of a bad bunch' if they feel that way.
18/07/2012 6:30:06 p.m.
If you own something and it causes death and destruction then you are responsible for repairing the harm and paying retribution for lasting harm it may cause. I spent many years in hydrology up in the mountains measuring water and have seen water rip through bridges and hillsides causing massive damage - we have seen the results of flooding washing people houses and lives away.
Currently the government and insurances come to the rescue in these cases because the government manages the water on our behalf.
From that the Government recognising that water from source to the sea passes through many people’s properties puts in place management practices to allocate the fair use of water, and equally along with councils put in place mechanisms to control the potential destruction water can do.
The SOE's do not own the water - they apply for a water right like anyone else. I cannot see how Maori can be owners of water and take on all the responsibilities that go with that ownership, or are they seeking to own and take the proceeds but hand all the costs and responsibilities to the Government aka the rest of us. Water is too big an issue to be owned by any New Zealand group. Forget the lawyers common sense will dictate this.
Under the treaty partnership they can perhaps have representation on the government and local government organisations that manage the water in terms of both fair allocation to use, management to control and payments to repair damage. Nature or God (depending on beliefs) own the water and they give and take as they see fit sometimes too much sometimes too little.
18/07/2012 2:28:38 p.m.
Paora, that is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.
I didn't vote because I have no confidence in our current crop of esteemed leaders, nor the system that allows them to sell the very land beneath us to foreign investors.
There is no option of 'no confidence' on the ballot. I could choose to invalidate my vote at which point it is discounted either way.
Non-voters and protester voters have a voice but it is not being listened to, politicians do that at their own risk.
18/07/2012 8:45:34 a.m.
Phil. You do not take into account the fact all non-voters also supported National by default simply because they did not bother to oppose them. That then means over 68% of NZ supported National.
17/07/2012 8:55:34 p.m.
Most Kiwis did not vote for this Government policy. 33% did. This is not a mandate for this policy of State asset sales. No way.
17/07/2012 4:22:12 p.m.
If Key was about 'making money' then why doesn't he consider leasing rather than selling? Does Key think he won't get a better deal from leasing? You sell the assets, you sell 'all rights' that were owned by NZders away. You sell ALL prime benefits away. China will look after their own first before NZders. So what the Maoris are using the water ownership to stall the sales, what else can a NZder do? It's not as if the govt is listening to those NZders, both Maori and Pakeha alike, who are in opposition to asset sales. Who does Key work for....Himself or the People of NZ?
17/07/2012 12:53:10 p.m.
@Mike - here's a proposal for Key that will not only allow New Zealanders to retain ownership of our public utilities (power/water etc) but will potentially stem the hatred we all have for him and let him leave office with *some* dignity or respect: Take back the $1000/wk tax cuts he's given to his buddies and trade the BMW fleet for some mid-range Toyotas!
17/07/2012 10:53:27 a.m.
you know what would be better than spending cuts and asset sales?
oh, yes, horrible, i know.
but remember this is the government who gave a tax cut to those who could most afford the taxes and, whatever their claims to the contrary, essentially raised taxes for the poor. and borrowed money to do it.
import tariffs would be a good start, especially if combined with subsidies to encourage new business and so replace imports. please note that when i say subsidies i mean for set-up costs, not the sort of nonsense market flooding that took place with the dairy products.
doing so is a double whammy, really: tariffs increase government funds, while new businesses result in more money moving through the system and improving the economy. close loopholes in the tax system and kick the income tax back up in the higher brackets (hell, why do we have separate income and sales taxes? it doesn't look as nice due to not being hidden, but the tax burden is spread more fairly and the overhead reduced if you toss GST entirely in favour of higher income taxes. GST is a regressive tax. that means it hits the poorer people harder and has a more negative effect on the flow of funds needed to keep the economy chugging along than income tax does. income tax reduces how much you have to spend. GST reduces how many things you can spend it On. the latter is more important to keeping things going.)
I'm not a big fan of the idea of anyone owning the water. seems stupid. and dangerous, long term. on the flip side, asset sales are a Terrible idea. one off income and a loss of an income source, which will, if not immediately then in relatively short order, result in said income being pulled out of NZ's economy entirely. it's not an export that pays for an import. it's just rent.
17/07/2012 10:36:48 a.m.
National did not win the election with a mandate to sell state assets it won the election despite the asset sale policy by default. Only because there was no opposition worth voting for with acceptable people, history or policies worth supporting.
Viewers overwhelming voted yes to decriminalising soft drugs during TV3's nation...
A petition boasting more than 37,000 signatures against the use of animal testin...
A report by New Zealand's police watchdog into the Urewera terror raids has foun...
Calls are growing for the Auckland Council to rethink its plans for more intensi...
The Nation reporter Torben Akel took a close look at her background and asked so...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.