December 15, 2014
Tuhoe lake stake not double dipping
Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger says the full and final settlement of Tuhoe claims to Te Urewera won't stop the iwi asserting its rights to compensation for use of Lake Waikaremoana.
In its fifth and last report on Te Urewera Claims released yesterday, the Waitangi Tribunal found major treaty breaches in the way the crown took control of the lake away from its owners, who belong to hapu of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Ruapani and Tuhoe.
Mr Kruger says the lake was left out of the settlement because it was privately owned.
He says despite the fact Maori refused to sell, the crown behaved as if it owned the lake, building hydroelectric power stations, opening the area up for tourism, and dropping lake levels without consultation or compensation.
"The issue here is article three property right breaches. It's not giving Maori equal rights to that, and it's the audacity of the crown to assume entitlement and to assume ownership of something it had no legitimacy to," he says.
Mr Kruger says it will be new territory for everyone, including lake user Genesis Energy, and a lot will depend on whether Tuhoe, Ngati Ruapani and Kahungunu can work together.
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