October 20, 2013
Iwi property rights key to water future
Maori rights and interests in water were at the forefront in this year’s Water New Zealand conference in Hamilton.
Chief executive Murray Gibb says it’s a key issue for many in the association, which has about 1500 corporate and individual members.
The highlight was a forum with treaty lawyer John Harboard, who pointed out that the laws around water are still evolving, Waikato Tainui environment manager Tim Manukau, who reiterated the iwi’s ownership of water before the confiscations of the 1860s, and lawyer Stephen Franks, who argued for a strong property rights regime at arms length from government.
"For us to make best use of the fabulous water resource that New Zealand has, we absolutely do need to have settled property rights and he saw Maori iwi property rights being strongly espoused as being a cornerstone of the way we might go forward," Mr Gibb says.
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