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Fighting for the integrity of water

PRESS RELEASE
Māori Party
Fighting for the integrity of water

Rāhui Papa, Māori Party Candidate for Hauraki Waikato paid tribute to the contribution of the late Dame Nganeko Minhinnick and the Huakina Development Trust in transforming water law and policy in Aotearoa New Zealand, and their fight for the integrity of water. On Monday 26 June, Rahui opened a conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the landmark case Huakina Development Trust v Waikato Valley Authority [1987]. In that case, Justice Chilwell found that:

'There can be no doubt that the Treaty is part of the fabric of New Zealand society. It follows that it is part of the context in which legislation which impinges upon its principles is to be interpreted.'

Rahui acknowledged the strength of women leaders in Tainui through the years such as Te Puea Herangi and Piupiu Te Wherowhero, with particular praise for the strength and resilience of Dame Nganeko whose work laid the platform for the Waikato River Settlement and the concept of Te Mana o Te Wai in the National Policy Statement on Freshwater:

‘Dame Nganeko Minhinnick fought for the integrity of water and as a result of her work, decision-makers today take into account concepts such mauri and mana and taonga tuku iho. We are proud of her achievements, and we are grateful.’
Other speakers to pay tribute to the importance of the principles laid down in the Huakina decision and to Dame Nganeko included Carmen Kirkwood and Julie Wade from the Huakina Development Trust; Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Judge Carrie Wainwright; Judge Caren Fox, , Sir David Baragwanath, Waikato-Tainui CEO Donna Flavell; Prof. David Williams and Resource Management Lawyer, Tom Bennion.

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