Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Tikanga can help solve water issues – Sharples

Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Minister of Maori Affairs

27 July 2009
Media Release

EMBARGOED TO 9.10am – Check against delivery

Tikanga can help solve water issues – Sharples

Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples has called for continuing dialogue on the role of iwi in the management and allocation of fresh water.

In a speech this morning to the Indigenous Legal Water Forum in Wellington, Dr Sharples said local hapü and iwi need to be full participants in decisions on water management in their areas, and water ownership issues need to be allowed to come onto the national agenda.

“Throughout time immemorial, indigenous peoples have expressed water as being significant in sacred terms,” said Dr Sharples. “We talk about respecting the significance of the tapu and the wairua – the spiritual force of the water. We refer to the mauri – the lifeforce.

“It is because of this sacred significance, that we, as indigenous peoples, are honour bound to play an active role as tangata tiaki, to ensure that water is protected and used wisely,” he said.

“We seek to maintain our collective responsibilities to respect and protect the environment and communities that give us our identity, our rangatiratanga, our mana.

“It is critical that arrangements for the governance and management of freshwater recognise the rights, interests and perspectives of Māori. Unfortunately, the reason we are all here today is that this is not always the case.

“The state of freshwater is not just an ecological problem, but a problem of governance. Māori, as Treaty partners, need to have a strong voice in any decisions that are made about water,” Dr Sharples said.

“The message that is coming consistently from Māori is that, to date, the legal framework for managing water has not provided an adequate role for Māori.

“There remains a lot of uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Māori rights and interests in freshwater and how these rights might be better reflected in New Zealand law,” he said.

“The new Government has shown an encouraging willingness to engage with Māori on these matters.

“I am committed towards ensuring that the Government continues to respect the leadership of iwi on how to best proceed in the complex process of addressing Māori concerns, interests and rights relating to freshwater.

“I want to be quite upfront – I do not support amendment of the Resource Management Act to better facilitate the trading of water consents (or excess water) as a way to manage availability issues,” said Dr Sharples.

“Not only does this set up quasi private schemes where big business is able to buy up consents and control access to water, but allocating consents to maximise land-based activity inevitably leads to greater water quality issues.

“This narrow focus on economics is driving the degradation of natural water sources by pollution, abstraction for irrigation or power generation, and the flooding and droughts made worse by deforestation and climate change.
“I want to see us turn around our sense of responsibility for each other, and for our natural world.

“Māori can bring a unique contribution to freshwater management through the ethic of kaitiakitanga. The contribution that tangata whenua can make towards sustainably managing our water resources will be of benefit to all New Zealanders,” Dr Sharples said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether Trump Is Likely To Be Impeached

'Tis the season to be jolly, and for wrapping a plea bargain under the Christmas tree for all ye formerly merry, Trump-connected gentlemen.

Reportedly, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn have all been co-operating with the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Flynn has done 19 interviews so far. So what chance has the Trump presidency got of surviving, all things considered? More>>

 
 

Dealing Crackdown, Addiction Support: Government Action On Synthetics

The NZ Drug Foundation has welcomed the Government’s response to synthetic drug deaths. The response strikes a balance between giving law enforcement the tools they need to target criminal networks and changing drug law to make it easier for people to access help when they need it. More>>

ALSO:

Strategy Committee Unanimous: Wellington To Forge Ahead With Convention Centre

The three-storey Cable Street building, with around 18,000-square metres of floor space, will comfortably be able to host 1500 people for conventions. It includes a 1651sq m exhibition area that will attract international exhibitions too big for nearby Te Papa and provide an always-changing visitor attraction. More>>

ALSO:

Surveying The Surveillance: First IGIS Review Of Warrants Under New Act

The report sets out the Inspector-General’s interpretation of the new warrant provisions under the ISA and her expectations of the GCSB and NZSIS when they prepare warrant applications. More>>

SSC: 2018 Public Service Workforce Data Published

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has published the 2018 Our People, Public Service Workforce Data , which shows the Public Service is making significant progress in important areas. More>>

ALSO:

Sinking Cap: Auctions, Permanent Forests, Added To ETS

The move to auctions, signalled in an August consultation paper, will help put a cap on the number of emission units available over time. Annual announcements, looking forward five years, will help provide certainty for scheme participants, she said. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels