Claim on water could halt asset sales | The Jackal

4 Jul 2012

Claim on water could halt asset sales

Today, Radio Waatea reported:

Prime Minister John Key believes his government has done enough to address water ownership issues to fend off next week's Waitangi Tribunal challenge.

The New Zealand Maori Council and a number of hapu with claims to specific lakes, springs and rivers will be arguing that their rights need to be quantified before the government can sell off the state owned power generators that use water for free.

Mr Key says none of the arguments against asset sales stand up to scrutiny, including those made by the Maori Council.

"We don't think there is any basis to that claim because the government has been addressing the issue of water and the Maori interest in water through a number of other different mechanisms, whether it is the Land and Water Forum or the like. So realistically, we don't think the mixed ownership model will alter that and I think a lot of iwi leaders agree with us. They are very unlikely I think to join the Maori Council if it went to court," Mr Key says.

Key has changed his tune, previously stating that nobody owned the water and therefore it could be used for free. Now he thinks that the issue has already been resolved and that there is a question about whether it's going to court... What a plonker!

The hearing is set down for next week and will look at how the Crown gave itself exclusive rights to use water, contrary to the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi in that Maori ownership, control and tino rangatiratanga over the rivers has been taken from them without any recompense.

No wonder Key is contradicting himself all over the place...Maori have a proprietary interest in New Zealands water and it cannot simply be sold to foreigners by the government of the day. Key is worried about the case because it could put a halt to Nationals economically unsound privatisation of the publics assets.