October 17, 2012
Sham consultation shows shallowness of water stance
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the sham consultation with Maori over the sale of state power companies sent a clear message that the National-led Government has no interest in any Maori rights to water.
The Government held six hui with iwi in areas where water is used by the first company to be sold, Mighty River Power, but it limited discussion to the Waitangi Tribunal's idea that a mix of shares and some other benefits could be enough to acknowledge any Maori interests.
Ms Turei says it was a carefully calculated insult.
"It's telling our people that none of our history, none of our culture, all the tikanga around water that we've been talking about, the relationship, the economic issues around it, none of that is of interest to government. They don't care. They genuinely don't care about the Maori interest," she says.
Ms Turei says while it's unfair that claimants have to pay for any court case out of their own pockets, Maori have more resources and experience in fighting court cases than when there were similar battles in the 1980s.
The New Zealand Maori Council is trying to raise $400,000 to mount the case.