Who owns the water? | The Jackal

8 Feb 2012

Who owns the water?

Today, the Dominion Post reported:

Mr Key said iwi water claims were being dealt with through the separate land and water forum but in his view nobody owned the water.

"It's like air. No one owns air."

If nobody owns the water, why is National trying to privatize it? Key has changed his tune since he last spoke publicly about New Zealand's vast water resources.

Back in 2008, the NZ Herald reported:

Mr Key told reporters that better allocation of water and tradeable rights were issues that may be considered.

The Crown has yet to concede water ownership to any iwi.

Asked about Maori rights to water, Mr Key said: "That's something ultimately that will need to be debated.

They are very important stakeholders and I would have thought they would want to argue pretty strongly that they do have rights."

We haven't had a proper debate about who actually owns New Zealand's water resources, so why is National trying to swoop in and sell them?

This smacks of the bad old days of land confiscation.