Water rights debate could drag on, says lawyer
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:29a.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Government has met with legal experts to talk through their options over the water rights issue.
On Friday the Waitangi Tribunal sent a clear message: delay asset sales until an agreement is reached with Maori on who owns water.
But it's a legal issue that might not be so easily solved, says Chen Palmer Associates Maori law specialist Nicholai Anderson.
“What the tribunal itself found was that in 1840 Maori had a broad bundle of rights, that included ownership in it’s fuller sense,” he told Firstline this morning.
“What that actually means with respect to Maori ownership rights, yes it’s a very broad definition of ownership.”
Mr Anderson believes the case could continue through the courts, but could be resolved if ideas such as water permits were considered.
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