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Maori Party disappointed at Supreme Court decision

MEDIA STATEMENT

Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Maori Party Co-Leaders
27 February 2013


Maori Party disappointed at Supreme Court decision

The Maori Party expressed its disappointment today at the Supreme Court decision to dismiss the Maori Council’s challenge of the Government’s sale of shares in state-owned power companies.

The New Zealand Maori Council sought to delay the sale of shares in Mighty River Power in the Supreme Court until issues over water rights for Maori were resolved.

“The Maori Party does not support partial privatisation of state-owned assets. We believe there are crucial questions to be answered around access, management, ownership and control of water.”

“There is also a question around the wider rights and interests that tangata whenua have in respect of water, and what those rights look like. That will be considered in the second phase Waitangi Tribunal hearing on freshwater this year.”

“Obviously we wanted a positive outcome for tangata whenua but we believe todays Supreme Court ruling despite dismissing the appeal, was still a positive step in recognition of Maori rights and access to water. The ruling upheld an important point of principle, namely that the Crown was bound to comply with the principles of the Treaty before deciding to sell the shares,” said Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia.

Dr Sharples said “there is no doubt in our minds that the issue of Maori rights in water will continue to be debated through the Tribunal and the Courts, and we will continue to support the many avenues that tangata whenua choose to use to have their rights in wai recognised.”

ENDS

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