November 26, 2012
Court poor substitute for face to face talks
The New Zealand Māori Council is in the High Court this week taking on the Crown over the partial sale of state owned power companies.
Executive member Rahui Katene says it would prefer to be negotiating kanohi ki te kanohi with ministers about whether the sale process leaves the Crown able to acknowledge any Māori treaty interests in water, but the Government is determined to exclude the council.
She says while the Government has talked with some individual iwi, the council has a responsibility to advocate for all Māori.
"It’s not just about Mighty River Power. It’s not just about the Government selling off those assets. It’s about the fact there are a whole lot of issues our people are involved in and it’s time for the Government to sit down and talk with Māori about what those proprietary rights and interests are and to decide what we are going to do from here," she says.
Mrs Katene says the Crown has taken for itself many rights and interests in water that under the Treaty of Waitangi may still belong to Māori.