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Nga Tai Water Claims An old Fashioned Shakedown

Media Statement
For immediate release

Thursday, 21 July 2005

An old fashioned shakedown is how Cr Dick Quax is describing Nga Tai claims that as first representatives of Aotearoa they are therefore owners of Manukau's water resources which give them entitlement to sit on the board of Manukau Water.

The claim of water ownership was made at the Strategic Directions Committee meeting by Nga Tai representative, Laurie Beamish. The committee was debating the matter of how to proceed with the proposal to create a Council Controlled Organisation for Manukau Water.

One of the issues debated is the issue of selecting a board of directors for the CCO.

Mr Beamish claimed that Nga Tai should have the right to appoint one of its iwi members to the board.

According to Mr Beamish, "Maori as the first representatives of Aotearoa owns the water and that water belongs to Maori'.

"This is just another fanciful claim without an ounce of legitimacy" said Cr Quax

"Candidates for the board of Manukau Water will be selected for their knowledge of the utility sector and financial skill and the ethnicity of the board members is irrelevant."

"We should not be bullied or browbeaten in to accepting an iwi representative based on race alone."


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