September 20, 2012
Boycott continues despite hui attendance
A lawyer for the New Zealand Maori Council says it’s important that Maori water claimants attend the consultation hui on water, but they don’t have to agree to anything.
The first hui with deputy Prime Minister Bill English in Hamilton last night was sparsely attended, as Waikato-Tainui iwi heeded the boycott call issued at last week’s national hui at Turangawaewae Marae.
Donna Hall says Pouakani had to be there, because the Government’s hand could be strengthened in any subsequent High Court action if claimants aren’t seen to be trying their best to make the process work.
“From the point of view of the lawyer advising a number of claimant hapu and the council, we are definitely saying them must go to the consultation rounds but it’s important that at the consultation rounds they say ‘we support the boycott, we agree with the reasons that have been put forward for not proceeding with this funny process that has been put into place,’” she says.
Ms Hall says the time for consultation is too short, the scope too narrow, and many affected groups don’t have the resources to get the economic and legal advice needed to address the question of whether the shares plus idea floated by the Waitangi Tribunal is the way to recognise Maori interests in water.