Maori establish united front
Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:04p.m.
By Adrien Taylor
More talks are underway at the Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia over the contentious issue of Maori fresh water ownership.
Today the iwi chairs' forum is discussing the issues and resolutions raised at yesterday's national hui on water rights, hosted by the Maori King.
More than 1,000 iwi leaders, politicians, and other Maori took part in yesterday's hui, that was summed up in a closing address by King Tuheitia.
The bottom line that came out of the hui is three fold: Maori are united in their assertion that they own fresh water; they want all iwi engaged in one-on-one negotiations with the Government to stop immediately; and they also want the asset sales program to go on hold until the Government and Maori reach some sort of agreement on Maori ownership rights.
They say if the Government fails to do so, Maori will take a hard line. Hui attendees were reminded that Maori have battled with the Crown in the past and won.
Sonny Tau is leader of Ngapuhi, one of New Zealand's biggest tribes. He says the Government must agree to rules of engagement with all Maori before selling the power companies.
"The first thing that has to be established is, what are you going to negotiate? What are these rights, what rights do Maori have to water, what are the boundaries to these negotiations?"
Maori have managed to come to a united front about how they would like water rights to be dealt with – now it's Prime Minister John Key's turn to reply, and a wrong move by him could lead to court action to stop asset sales.
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16/09/2012 10:43:19 a.m.
Key cannot sell the power companies without the water rights, that's why he wants them. That's why he is so desperate. And it doesn't even matter to him that 80% of the people including economists are against these sales. By his own definition he is trying to polarise the country to get his way. He wants to make sure that he get those rights, and that no one else does and if he gets his greedy dirty hands on them, they will get sold offshore quicker than a blink of an eye. Maori aren't saying that they own the water, what they are doing is claiming rights to it, just like key wants to do, just like the councils do, just like those wealthy few who are buying up water rights all around the world are doing (imagine the power and monopoly that they will have in the very near future, remember there is less than 3% of fresh water in the world). Its imperative that we keep ours in NZ hands. key is going to end up in court, that's inevitable considering his attitude and I think Maori have a good case to win it, and I think key knows that and is trying to get way via the back door but ts not going to work this time.
16/09/2012 10:30:04 a.m.
@Richard. I'm sure when the chinese own the rest, maori will give you a job. Beats being a rickshaw driver for a bowl of rice a day
15/09/2012 9:34:25 a.m.
Personally Richard i'm glad Iwi don't handout money 'willy-nilly' to the greater whanau, who would probably just fritter it away on rubbish. Ngai Tahu and Tainui for example have proven to be very shrewd businesses, more than quardrupling their settlement money. Investing it the future (education grants etc) is far more productive than giving away.
14/09/2012 6:55:32 p.m.
This just gets better and better. John Key has cake walked through two elections. He looked set to be prime minister until he retires and now I'm wondering if he might not survive the next election. I like the way he talks about 'consultation' over matters where he has clearly made up his mind no matter what anybody says. The CEO of my workplace often makes similar statements.
14/09/2012 2:31:18 p.m.
Under the law of Queens Chain, Maori and everyone else have as much access to water sources as they have ever had. Anything over and above that is money grubbing by the few who will only abuse the privilege and just like past payoffs, very little will be seen by the greater Maori population, that these crooks claim to represent
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