April 25, 2016
Case strong for water ownership
A member of the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group says the Maori case for ownership of specific water bodies is strong.
Two Northland cases are likely to feature strongly in the Waitangi Tribunal hearings on water starting in September.
Both the lakebed and the water of Lake Omapere near Kaikohe were vested in Maori owners in 1912, and the hapu that owns the land around Poroti Springs near Whangarei have an 1896 Native Land Court judgment upholding ownership.
That hasn’t stopped the Whangarei District Council not only taking the water without payment for town supply, but also issuing consents allowing water bottling companies to help themselves to the resource.
"Those Maori from those lands at Poroti need to have a right to water. The 22,000 cubic metres that are allocated a day from that spring, there must be an allotment to Maori. I think that's absolutely a natural consequence of all this legal case law," Mr Te Aho says.
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