December 15, 2014
Waikaremoana claimants want back rent
A Lake Waikaremoana claimant says a stake in Genesis Energy should be a starting point for compensation for his iwi’s loss.
The Waitangi Tribunal has identified seven significant treaty breaches in the Crown’s dealings with the lake, which is owned by elements of Ngati Kahungunu, Ngati Ruapani and Tuhoe.
These included refusing to recognise its Maori owners, and when it was forced to do so by the courts, failing to pay a rent that included its use for hydroelectricity.
Vern Winitana from Ngati Ruapani says his iwi will use the report in negotiations with the crown and lake user Genesis Electricity.
"We’d be very happy for the government to ring fence their ownership of Genesis assets at Waikaremoana, ring fence them for the rightful owner. That should be the starting point for any negotiation. It might help provide some of the compensation that might not be there in other areas. We would be very happy to have all our land back at Waikaremoana, the full 380,000 acres of land that were confiscated by the crown, and we would add that to our 1000 acres we have left," he says.
Mr Winitana says the claim shows the importance of Maori fighting for their water righs.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH VERN WINITANA CLICK ON THE LINK
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