September 05, 2019
Māori access needs priority in water rules revamp
The government will today release proposed policies on water for consultation.
Regional Econmic Development Minister Shane Jones says the proposals from Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damian O'Connor will focus on water quality and allocation rather than ownership.
He says the coalition agreement with New Zealand First takes the idea of a water tax off the table, but it is backing moves to address over-allocation in some catchments as well as any clean up measures.
He's also concerned at any impacts on Māori development.
"I'm just a bit nervous that we don't have too many Māori landowners that are unjustly affected because let's face it, a lot of our hapū and iwi have only recently recovered their land and if they want to use it economically, I would be opposed to them being denied that opportunity. So we need to ensure that can still take place but take place within a tighter set of regulations and thresholds," Mr Jones says.
He says the Waitangi Tribunal's stage two report on water has been a long time coming and the Government needs time to consider its response, but it needs to move fast on stopping further degradation of water quality.
Copyright © 2019, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com