October 22, 2012
Horses for courses take council to court
Shots across the bow from iwi leaders haven’t stopped the New Zealand Maori Council steering the water claim waka into the High Court.
Lawyers for the council and Waikato River claimants Pouakani are today arguing that the Government should taihoa any further steps to sell shares in state owned power generator Mighty River Power until any Maori rights in water are defined and accounted for.
On the weekend Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon told TVNZ’s Q and A programme that his iwi’s rights and interests in water would not be affected if the Government sells some Meridian, which has hydro power stations in the South Island.
Council deputy chair Rahui Katene says what is in the best interest of individual iwi corporates maybe in the best interests of all Maori.
"Maori council has always been there for all Maori and there are a lot of Maori who aren’t represented by iwi or iwi leaders and we need to be aware of them and there are a lot of claimants who are represented by iwi who may not necessarily agree with the way their iwi is going so we do need to have horses for courses I guess you could say," she says.
Mrs Katene says the government could have saved a lot of cost and heartbreak if it had talked to claimants rather than forcing them into court on an extremely tight timeframe.