April 21, 2015
First in leave Maori dry
One of the advisors to the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group says the current review of fresh water management may have to claw back some property rights that have slipped away.
There has been a sharp reaction to some of the group's proposals around tradeable property rights, with Prime Minister John Key saying no one can own water.
Lawyer Willie Te Aho says in fact resource consents under the 1991 Resource Management Act have turned out to be the nearest things to property rights going to whoever was quick enough to apply for them first.
"Now our people are still going through the process of treaty settlement, we weren’t the first in line. I’ve been part of treaty settlements where we got the land back in Manutuke in Gisborne on behalf of Rongowhakaata, only to find we don’t have access to the water. That is held by the leaseholder. These are all the issues we have got to reconcile through this rights and interests debate," he says.
Willie Te Aho says the key objective for the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group is te mana o te wai, ensuring that enough water remains to maintain the health of catchments and river systems.
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH WILLIE TE AHO CLICK ON THE LINK
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