Maori claims 'opportunistic' – PM
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 6:05p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
The Prime Minister has hit back at the Maori Council, describing its Waitangi Tribunal claim for water ownership as "opportunistic".
He added he doesn't think the Maori Council acts for all Maori.
But John Key's comments appear to be inflaming the row.
The Maori Council's Maanu Paul claims Maori own the water, and he will almost certainly test that in court. But rather than closing the flood gates, the Prime Minister opened them, asking if water is so important, where was the Maori Council when Contact Energy was sold?
“Why wasn't it tested in 1999 when Contact was sold?” asks John Key. “In my view it's opportunistic.”
He was backed up by his deputy.
“The Maori Council doesn't have any interest in any river, lake, spring or creek,” says Finance Minister Bill English.
The Government believes Maoridom is divided over who owns the water, claiming the powerful Iwi Leadership Group is on the Government's side.
“The Iwi Leadership Group and individual iwis are working constructively with the Crown.”
The Council is out on its own.
“They don't represent any particular interest,” says Mr English.
But the Government's comments are inflammatory, and with court action imminent, some Government sources have told 3 News the first asset sale could be delayed until next year.
It is a setback to which Mr Key had one reply.
“There's a chance a meteorite could hit Earth this afternoon but I don't think it's likely,” says Mr Key.
In fact, up to 84,000 meteorites hit Earth each year, and a delay is now being seriously talked about in Government circles.
“The sale will have to be delayed and the price will be affected,” says Labour Party leader David Shearer.
The Maori Party will meet Mr Key tomorrow night. It's clear MP Te Ururoa Flavell thinks his iwi owns the water.
“My people believe that we do,” he says.
But few expect the Maori Party to walk out of Government tomorrow.
“I can't for the life of me see why the Maori Party would want to leave,” says John Key.
“That's something we will consider after the meeting,” says Mr Flavell.
The Maori Party will meet Mr Key tomorrow night. The Prime Minister is likely to restate that Maori have an interest in water but they don't own it – no one does.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has plenty of time to negotiate a deal for Maori, and walking out now would take away all of her bargaining power.
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25/07/2012 4:07:37 p.m.
What a joke next they will be trying to claim the air. PATHETIC!!!!
20/07/2012 11:26:28 a.m.
All i see is Maori once again preventing a nation from moving forward to enrich the country as a whole and yet again more separatism that favors once again, the Maori, so yes, if they own the water, please, by all means, compensate those that are indeed affected by floods, tsunamis, leaks, floods and other water related incidents
The whole thing is a bloody joke, no one owns water.........Taniwha ??,o please, give me strength!
18/07/2012 8:30:51 p.m.
Daniel Strekier wrote:
If the Maori claim they own the water, then are they responsible for paying for the damages caused by floods we have in NZ and are they responsible for cleaning polluted water?
This news made me think about these questions.
18/07/2012 4:16:38 p.m.
"He added he doesn't think the Maori Council acts for all Maori." One could also argue that John Key's National govt doesn't act for all NZers. John Key is employing a typical divide and rule strategy, which is yet another example of his dirty dealing.
18/07/2012 12:04:55 p.m.
John Key got elected on 33 percent of the total vote... Brad argues technicalities because he knows Keys position is weak... if Dunne Walked from the coalition there would be no government.
His electorate dont want asset sales and he is well aware of this.
But the one thing that Brad cant argue is that 66 percent of the country didnt vote John Key in on election day... 33 percent stayed home because Labour or National couldnt motivate them.
When you sell a company you need to control more than just 33 % of the shares.
And Key only has 33% approval from 33% of the shareholders, but now he is acting like some ponced up dictator.
But Key doesnt have a mandate nor does he have majority support of the shareholders for this sale.
Some could argue that what John Key is doing is theft.
18/07/2012 10:12:20 a.m.
Avril, do you need me to quickly go through how an election in NZ works and what it means for the Party that wins?
18/07/2012 9:24:35 a.m.
John Key is talking it up to keep the confidence in the sale, thats ok if you are in the stock market but unfortunately for us he is our PM so he should act and talk as such representing his people and the nation as a whole. I am sure that's all the majority of people want, is for him to do this, and speak as our PM showing compassion and care for our Nation but alas, I feel he does not have the ability to do this so he should GO.
As a Nation - We have an Economy but we are not the Economy, - We use money but we are not money, - We have debt but we are not the debt. - we are the people that gives spirit to this land and a voice to its Nation, here us or be silenced.
17/07/2012 8:39:57 p.m.
The Maori Party will not leave National, they talk so much, then do nothing more, so classical
17/07/2012 8:33:57 p.m.
Avril Bell wrote:
If the Maori Council can be ignored because 'they don't represent all Maori', what can we say about John Key, who clearly doesn't represent all New Zealanders and certainly not on the issue of asset sales?
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