February 18, 2020
Iwi leaders sell-outs for blocking water action – Jones
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones is accusing northern iwi leaders of selling out their people by voting for ideologically-driven court cases rather than practical steps to increase water supply.
The Iwi Leaders Forum this month voted down a proposal for litigation over water to be set aside while iwi work with the government on water storage and allocation.
Mr Jones says the chairs of Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngapuhi voted kāhore despite a genuine crisis in nearby Kaikohe and Kaitaia.
"I just think that iwi leaders who think that water issues are going to be solved by perpetually fighting in the courts are selling our own people out. At a time of adversity based on climate change we need new thinking, not this dogmatic, doctrinaire thinking that the Court of Appeal is the answer to all water remedies that afflict Māoridom and I am very disappointed the three northern iwi voted against some pragmatic way forward," he says.
Officials are looking at whether Kaikohe could draw water from Lake Omapere to relieve its water shortage.
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