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Maori interests are in everyone’s best interests

Press Release

MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira

Maori interests are in everyone’s best interests

Thursday 28th February

“Yesterday the Supreme Court upheld the NZ Maori Council claim that Maori have an interest in water and that the Crown has to recognise and to provide for that interest” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, “even if they didn’t go so far as to stop the sale of Mighty River Power until that interest has been settled”.

“The Supreme Court also overturned all of Justice Young’s decisions and said that even if the Crown proceeds with the sale of Mighty River Power, they must still honour their promises to recognise and provide for the Maori interest in water as recognised under the Treaty of Waitangi”.

Next month the Waitangi Tribunal will hold stage two of its hearings in which they begin the process of determining and clarifying Maori proprietary interests in water.

“I have serious doubts about whether government will honour its promises” said Harawira. “But if they fail to deliver I expect the court to come down hard on them, even so far as ruling that the sale of the power companies be halted until the Maori interest has been properly settled”.

“In the immediate future though, MANA will be working with the Council, hapu and iwi to get a strong and positive determination from the Waitangi Tribunal on Maori interests in water”.

“As far as the fight to stop the sale of our power companies is concerned, the NZ Maori Council’s court action was critical in forcing the deferral of the sale of Mighty River Power” said Harawira. “That gave the rest of New Zealand the time to get the required numbers to table the petition on asset sales in Parliament in the next two weeks”.

“The Supreme Court’s decision has at least confirmed that the protection of Maori interests in water is an integral part of the process of keeping state assets in the people’s hands” said Harawira “and for that we can all be grateful”.


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