August 29, 2012
Lawyers ready for court battle over water
One of the lawyers involved with the water rights claim says if John Key wants a fight on property rights, Maori are willing to give him one.
The Prime Minister has indicated his Government will respond on Monday to the Waitangi Tribunalâ€™s call to taihoa on asset sales until Maori interests in water are defined and accommodated.
Some claimants are picking that response will be to reject the tribunalâ€™s advice and release the prospectus for Mighty River Power.
Annette Sykes says claimants will be able to go to court armed with the tribunal finding on their rights.
"The western legal system is built on the notion of property rights and at the heart of the water case is the upholding of Maori property rights guaranteed under the treaty, equivalent to the same kind of rights that are enjoyed by westerners but redefined to the local circumstances of Aotearoa and I think it is a difficult decision to overcome legally in the courts," she says.