Water rights issue closer to court
Tue, 04 Sep 2012 6:21p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
The fight between Maori and the Government over water rights is getting closer to court.
Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul says he thinks court action is now 99 percent likely.
He says Prime Minister John Key's refusal to meet with the council and the claimants it represents proves the Government is acting in bad faith.
Mighty River Power will still be the first of the assets to go, six months later than planned. But the delay's not enough to stave off the threat of court.
“Absolutely there is still a chance,” says claimant Tamati Cairns. “It depends where discussions settle.”
It also depends who the Government has those discussions with.
“We're not going to meet the Maori Council,” says Mr Key.
Instead it plans to meet with some iwi, but only those with direct interests in water used by Mighty River.
The Maori Council says if the Government cuts out the other claimants, "We'll see you in court."
“It's very, very likely that we will take it to the High Court for the very simple reason that the Crown is acting in bad faith,” says Mr Paul.
Originally, Mighty River was meant to be sold by the end of September. Then it was pushed to the first week of December. Now it'll be sometime from March next year.
“You can't make an unpopular asset sales programme popular by doing sordid race-based backroom deals that benefit a few Maori and the balance of Maori and the rest of New Zealand is all done serious harm,” says New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters.
The asset sales programme seems to get shakier by the day. Air New Zealand and Solid Energy look increasingly unlikely to be floated – a further delay.
So the $5-to-$7 billion profit expected and needed from the sales is a shrinking target.
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6/09/2012 2:00:49 p.m.
What a joke!!!
5/09/2012 1:34:09 p.m.
Key's refusal to talk with the Maori Council and only deal with individual Iwi is classic National divide and conquer. He divided Pakeha against Maori with his constantly braying "nobody owns the water"; now he seeks to divide Maori against Maori.
Not a single argument National has put forward to justify their plundering of our vital infrastructure has held up.
Asset sales won't reduce debt. Asset sales won't boost the economy. Treasury conceded that savings on interest payments from lower debt will be less than the foregone profits. Every analyses agrees that selling our strategic, income generating infrastructure will leave NZ worse off.
Considering the market conditions, the water rights issue and the looming referendum, pushing ahead with this plan is ideological pigheadedness at best, economic treason at worst.
Only the willfully ignorant can't see that pushing ahead with this will cost National the next few elections.
Don't be surprised if Key ultimately backs down, calls off the asset sales, and attempts to pin the blame on Maori in a racist dog-whistle to National's core constituency. Then steps down before the end of his term, only to be gifted the knighthood he so desperately craves by his successor.
5/09/2012 12:17:04 p.m.
thank you to the maori people of this great country! you are the only ones brave anuff to save our asset sales.. the rest of us pakeha should hang our heads in shame..
5/09/2012 11:07:41 a.m.
As some will say Maori don't own water or air, Pakeha claim they don't own it either yet the govt capitalises on the income both these resources generate. J.Key would rather see our resources sold to the highest bidder, even when the sale is deemed as a risk, than create a workable co-operative relationship with Maori. Again, J.Key promotes the 'divide and conquer ethic' with Maori, create dissension rather than solve it. I agree with David, because in order to work WITH Maori, J.Key and people with similar beliefs would have to change their mindset. Working positively towards a greater good wuld be too much
5/09/2012 10:59:07 a.m.
Key thinks the water can be owned... earlier this year he was looking at dividing water rights up between fonterra and other private enterprices.
Doesnt matter what I think... Key has already shown that water rights can obviously be owned and won Maoridoms case for them.
Isnt it funny how Key doesnt ever mention that he had his departments looking into a water rights trading scheme?.
LOL eddie you have lost the plot.
Do you feel betrayed by Key stalling the process in favor of Maori? of course you do... you hate Maoridom.
5/09/2012 10:56:28 a.m.
What flows, blows or falls on NZ belongs to the Nation, the people. It is National that is going against this and wanting to sell what is rightfully owned by the people against the majority. Now since the crown do not have sole right to rule they are in partnership with Maori. Maori have no choice but to stand up in a bid to keep NZ for the people. JK has forced Maori into this position but not for the good of NZ as the figures for selling never have stacked up. He has other interests for selling so I fully support Maori in their claim to keep NZ for its people.
5/09/2012 10:45:20 a.m.
I've got some wind the Maori's can have.
5/09/2012 9:40:24 a.m.
This is a complete and absolute joke - there is a website where you can sign a petition but 3 news will not print any of my emails, I wonder if this will go to print either.
I see they are now claiming wind - time to rise up and say what we really think loudly.
5/09/2012 9:40:23 a.m.
5/09/2012 7:51:11 a.m.
Once again DAVID, playing the messanger and not the message. Do YOU believe Maori own the water DAVID?, you seem to have a go at others for saying they don't own it (everyone owns it), so where do you stand DAVID?, Do Maori own the water, and then do they own the air?(Wind claim is coming because of wind farms)..enough of the 'redneck' claims, tell me where you stand DAVID on this issue?
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