July 28, 2021
Power co sell off opened door for Lake Taupo charges
Tūwharetoa Trust Board chair John Bishara says the National Government’s decision to sell off shares in state power companies is what triggered its quest to clarify its right to charge commercial users of Lake Taupō.
The High Court has issued a declaratory judgment that as the board owns the bed under the lake and tributaries through its 2007 treaty settlement, it can charge for its use.
Mr Bishara says while some operators were happy to immediately form partnerships with the iwi and pay a fee, others wanted to fight.
“The declaratory judgment will put us in a position where we will start charging them but also on behalf of our Tūwharetoa people it is important we look at those back rates that should be changed – whether we do it or not, it is all part of the operations of running a commercial operation like Taupō moana,” he says.
Mr Bishara says recreational use of the lake and rivers by the public will always continue without charge.
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