October 30, 2012
Everyone and no one owns water on planet Key
Prime Minister John Key is confident his Government's asset sales process will weather the New Zealand Maori Council's water challenge.
The council and Pouakani claimants from South Waikato will be back in the High Court on November 26 for a full hearing of their case that the Crown can't sell off Mighty River power without making allowance for Maori treaty interests in water.
Mr Key says his advice is that while those interests need to be defined, the case is about the Crown's ability to recognise them.
"I mean the Crown's view of that is the Crown owns water, that essentially it is owned by no one in common law or everyone, take your own view, but essentially it is there for the national interest, and while there are genuine rights and interests that we as a Government have recognised, really around historical claims and co-management and the sort of things you have seen over the last four years, we don't see it as the basis for a national settlement but whatever the case, there is nothing that we see from the sale of shares that affects that," he says.
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