September 20, 2012
Not enough time given to address the issue
A lawyer for the New Zealand Maori Council says the big issue identified by the Waitangi Tribunal is not on the agenda for the Government’s shares plus consultation hui.
The hui, which started last night with minimal turn-out, is only to discuss the tribunal’s suggestion that some special class of shareholding could address Maori interests in the water used by the state-owned power generators.
Donna Hall says affected iwi haven’t been given enough time to address the issue, and many don’t have the resources to get the expert advice they need.
“It’s been rushed through. There is no real effort there to grapple with the big issue, that the tribunal found that Maori did have proprietary rights to water resources and that these are being breached by acts of the Crown and that proceeding to sell the assets in any of the companies before those rights have been properly defined is a breach of the treaty,” she says.
The New Zealand Maori Council has not been invited to any of the hui, but it has been asked to make written submissions.