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Government Arrogance Over Water Continues

MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira

Government Arrogance Over Water Continues

Tuesday 16 October

“Arrogant and irresponsible, but not surprising” was how MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira described government’s decision to ignore the Waitangi Tribunal’s call for a halt to the sale of state assets until Maori claims to water have been settled.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday that government will push ahead with the sale of Mighty River Power goes completely against the wishes of Maori opinion, as clearly expressed at the hui called by the Maori King, the consultation hui called by the government itself and the hui held with Mataatua iwi last week”.

“It also goes against the wishes of the rest of the country, as evidenced by the speed with which the petition against asset sales is gathering momentum” said Harawira “and shows a level of arrogance and contempt for public opinion that is becoming a key element of this government’s policy making”.

“Government’s decision to sell shares in an asset that relies on water without having ownership of that water, is also highly irresponsible” said Harawira “and will lead to huge claims against the taxpayer if the ownership issue does not go in the government’s favour”.

“The New Zealand Maori Council now has no choice but to take this issue to the highest court in the land, and if past rulings on the Maori language, fisheries, forestry and spectrum are anything to go by, the Council can expect a favourable ruling”.

“The choice for Maori is now clear – join the Council, MANA, and iwi right across the country in fighting for those rights, or stand with the government that has publicly announced its intention to wipe them out”.

“I hope the rest of New Zealand also joins with Maori on this issue” said Harawira “because if government wins this, not only will our assets be sold but so too will our ability as a nation to manage water in the best interests of the environment and our children and our grandchildren’s future”.


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