February 09, 2020
Pressure on for water solution
A leading member of the Iwi Chairs Forum says a proposal to set aside court action of Maori rights and interests in water in exchange for investment in water storage schemes is worthy of consideration.
The proposal was made to iwi executives at Waitangi last week by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, who warned New Zealand First would not support options which handed ownership of water to iwi.
Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi, whose far north rohe is currently facing water restrictions, says some iwi leaders have started to think along similar lines.
“Obviously the stuff we were been doing for the last seven years around water is not taking us anywhere so we have to find another model by which we can make progress and if it means we have to put aside the threat of litigation, which is the only tool Māori have got, we keep going back to court, we keep going to the tribunal, we are so far apart in our perspectives there is a better chance of Jesus arriving than finding a solution,” he says.
He expects pressure from iwi members for the leadership to show some progress.
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