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Court ruling on water rights upsets Maori Council

Wednesday 12 Dec 2012 9:18 a.m.

By 3 News online staff

Maori say they are disappointed after a High Court judge ruled against the Maori Council’s attempt to block the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power yesterday.

The Maori Council wishes to have Maori water rights recognised before the Government decides to sell shares, but Justice Ronald Young ruled against this.

Prime Minister John Key is claiming a legal win on the issue.

“It was a fairly crushing defeat for the Maori Council in court yesterday, we essentially won on every point and won convincingly," says Mr Key.

Maori Council spokesperson Rahui Katene says they are upset with the way their High Court case unfolded.

“The questioning from the judge over the process of the court case showed that he wasn’t understanding our arguments,” she told Firstline this morning.

Maori say they will continue to fight, either in the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, but would rather the Government approach them and attempt to reach an agreement.

“Why go through all of this expense, all of this rush, all of this stress, when we can sit down together face-to-face and actually sort things out?”

Ms Katene says Maori are disappointed in the Government’s actions and the Maori Council still has a large amount of support.

Labour Party leader David Sherer steered clear of supporting the Maori bid when he appeared on Firstline this morning, but says his party continues to be concerned by the Government’s haste to sell off assets.

“The bottom line is the Government’s determined to sell these assets off,” says Mr Shearer.

3 News

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