February 11, 2021
Greenpeace finds common cause on Waikato water grab
Greenpeace New Zealand head Russel Norman says Māori perspectives on conservation are vital in the fight against corporations.
Greenpeace has revealed Wairakei Pastoral Ltd, owned by rich listers including Ross Green, Trevor Farmer and Mark Wyborn, can take up to 153 million litres per day from the Waikato River.
That's 1 million litres more a day than Watercare – which draws almost a third of Auckland’s supply from the awa.
Dr Norman says he's disgusted the company can use the water for irrigation and other dairy operations, then discharge tonnes of pollution back into the Waikato River catchment
He wants concepts like Te Mana ō te Wai and Te Mana ō te Taiao be considered when taking from the river.
"When you look at those principles they are about kaitiakitanga, guardianship, looking after the natural world. I think there is huge common ground between the environment movement and te ao Māori in making sure there is enough water available for the natural environment," Dr Norman says.
He believes the Treaty of Waitangi gives tangata whenua the right to a share of commercial interests in water.
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