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National’s Water Sell Out

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland

Excerpts From Speech to Whitianga Public Meeting,

Whitianga Town Hall,
Wednesday 13 September,

National’s Water Sell Out

Taupo’s tourist operators face serious ‘Koha’ bills from Tuwharetoa, resulting from the old political party’s racially separatist agenda on water rights and control.

Under a hitherto unknown licence, Tuwharetoa is demanding thousands of dollars of annual Koha from tourism operators to use Lake Taupo.

One Tuwharetoa demand, dated March, is for $25,000. This isn’t from some idle disaffected radical claimant but is from none other than Tuwharetoa’s CEO - Topia Rameka.

Back in July, Mr Rameka told the Waikato Times that New Zealand First was "misinformed and unreasonably politicising" Tuwharetoa’s water rights.

So what is this $25,000 demand about then? And when are we going to hear about the demands that Tuwharetoa are putting on other operators around Lake Taupo?

National publicly says water ownership is off the table but in private meetings it is held with Iwi ownership of water is very much what the discussion has been about.

So here is the paradox. Labour announces its highly unspecific water tax policy resulting in Mr Finlayson attacking Labour for interfering with his agreements with Iwi on water ownership.

But it doesn’t end there.

Mr Finalyson then gets attacked by none other than Sir Michael Cullen, who says that Finlayson is dog whistling, which somewhat suggests that Sir Michael’s positon has a seriously old canine echo to it!

In short, what you’ve got here are the two old parties going toe-to-toe on water rights and charges when one policy, Labour’s, is an outright tax and the other, National’s, is charging for water based on racial entitlement.

National has put in place Iwi water ownership and Labour will enable it.

And this is going to occur on every single river because Waikato Iwi will be allowed to use the Waikato River as of now.

Waikato-Tainui are eyeing a new council owned company to provide water and waste for Hamilton City, Waipa and Waikato Districts as a potential trigger for water ownership of the Waikato River.

Take the cosy meetings with Waikato Iwi and the Waikato Regional Council Mr English had in Wellington on 10 May, with Mr Flavell, Mr Bridges and Mr Smith.

Waikato’s Plan Change 1 has more Iwi holes in it than Swiss cheese.

So what does Waikato-Tainui want? They want to own the Waikato’s water:

“Waikato-Tainui believes that rights being distributed to consent users are in effect creating rights in property in the waters of the Waikato River.”

So Waikato Regional Council, with the blessing of National, is allowing Iwi to side step tough nutrient rules. Waikato Iwi are allowed under this plan at Objective 5 to:

“Manage their own lands and resources, by exercising mana whakahaere…”

Translated into English, that means “governance, authority, jurisdiction, management, mandate, power”. This is reinforced by Policy 16:

“Flexibility for development of land returned under Te Tiriti o Waitangi settlements and multiple owned Māori land”.

As long as Waikato Iwi take into account ‘best practice’ they can change land use to whatever makes them the most money. Waikato Iwi get a free pass on nutrient limits while every other non-Iwi farmer in Waikato gets screwed down tight.

So here’s the rub. Changing how 5% of current Waikato Iwi land is farmed, will smash Nitrogen limits on parts of the Waikato River. If it hits 10%, then phosphorus limits will be reached to in other parts.

Waikato Iwi won’t cop the blame, of course not, that’ll be directed at every other Waikato farmer instead. With Te Arawa River Iwi, they want water that has been already allocated taken off “individuals and companies” and given to them in an “equitable water and nutrient allocation”.

We can imagine what that really means.

For a party that claims to be the farmers, National is doing an uncanny impersonation of Judas offering Iwi 30 pieces of silver. Of course the ordinary Maori, in town or in the countryside will get nothing, as the Iwi Browntable elite sucks it up in a new Bro-ocracy.


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