April 14, 2015
Key hoses down water expectations
The New Zealand Maori Council says Prime Minister John Key believes he is above the law.
At his post-cabinet press conference yesterday Mr Key rejected any prospect of negotiating a national settlement for Maori freshwater claims or of accepting Maori ownership of any specific bodies of water.
He was responding to a report prepared for the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group that proposed tradeable water rights as part of a national settlement.
Maori Council deputy chair Maanu Paul says the Government has used its discussions with the iwi Leaders Group as an excuse for delaying stage two of the Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into water, but now it's clear that consultation is a sham.
"The Government seems to think it's above the law. The Supreme Court clearly directed that the crown and Maori, meaning the Maori Council who took the claim, were to work through the second stage of the process and that is to determine which Maori owned what water" he says.
Maanu Paul says the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group has made a mistake by treating water as a commodity rather than picking up the Maori Council's approach of prioritising environmental, social and Maori customary uses over commercial extraction.
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