Taniwhas enter the water ownership debate
Thu, 19 Jul 2012 6:12p.m.
By Tova O’Brien
The Maori Party and National Government are best friends again, after a tiff over whether the Prime Minister was taking the current Waitangi Tribunal's urgent hearing over water ownership seriously enough.
The tribunal has heard myriad reasons why Maori have ownership rights to water, but today it heard another -because each body of water is guarded by taniwha.
“Taniwha get a bad press in the Pakeha media and they're ridiculed a bit and they're thought of as these silly spiritual things but they're much more than that, they’re much more powerful,” says Maori Council lawyer Felix Geiringer.
But that argument doesn't wash with Winston Peters - he's not Pakeha and he's certainly not media.
“You cannot start making up what Maori thought pre-1840 with these European sociological classes at university and a lot of us Maori understand that, a lot of this is a humbug,” says Mr Peters.
And a lot has changed for Tariana Turia since her symbolic appearance at the tribunal last week.
“We're really please with the outcome,” says Ms Turia.
The upshot of her late night meeting with the Prime Minister was a promise from Mr Key that he won't pass a law overriding Maori water rights and interests.
But Key didn't apologise for stating the obvious - that he could ignore tribunal recommendations, and Ms Turia didn't walk.
“We're sticking with the Government because our people don't actually care who the Government is,” she says.
“They were never going to leave, they were just talking tough,” says Mana's Hone Harawira.
So Ms Turia is staying with the Government and making it clear her party just wants a seat at the table.
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29/07/2012 9:55:44 a.m.
What a crock of s**t, does this mean I can claim the mountains? As they are inhabited by Frost Giants in Norse pagan mythology. What about swamp lands that are inhabited by the souls of those condemmed to walk the greylands?
20/07/2012 5:12:06 p.m.
I beleive a road near a waterway in Levin had to be re-routed for fear roadworks may disturb the taniwha domiciled in the waterway.
JK said to Labour "show me the money", now he should be saying "show me the taniwha". I for one would pay to see this taniwha.
20/07/2012 9:05:58 a.m.
how funny good way to trivialize such an important issue . the problem is toi many kids in the media 20 year olds that dont know split beans from butter milk just baby s that's all no nothing at all about politics just how to say yes sir no sir three bags full me editor .
20/07/2012 8:20:10 a.m.
This Govt has opened up a can of worms for sure . A real lose lose situation .
20/07/2012 7:39:14 a.m.
LMAF really is this how your tring to claim the water because mythical creature lives in the water, does that mean Europeans can claim water rights too because they have a ton of mythical creatures that live in the water. This has gone from being silly to Pathetic.
19/07/2012 11:26:36 p.m.
Taniwha for real? wrote:
Taniwha? Wtf? A never seen before mythological being guarding the rivers lol. serious?
19/07/2012 8:39:55 p.m.
Get ready people of NZ. Maori radicals are going to demand 2% payment from every household and landowner in the country because it's their land you built on. Sounds stupid; well so did the ownership of water 6 months ago, and now thanks to a spineless, capitulating PM this has become reality. These maori radicals are now on the cusp of making billions from every hard working NZer in the country. And don't think for one minute it'll end there. God help New Zealand for we are in serious trouble.
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