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Māori still in shock at Green Party “water rape" decision

Māori still in shock at Green Party “water rape" decision, says kuia

Press Release by Raewyn Bennett - 18 June 2018

A kuia and Māori environmentalist says so many Māori are still in shock from the Green Party’s decision last week to support a foreign company to bottle and export even more water from Otakiri Springs near Whakatāne.

"Sadly the Greens have shocked us all by going from water protector to water rapist, from pono and tika to liar and hypocrite, from kaitiaki to kupapa,” says Raewyn Bennett, chair of Te Arawa ki Tai Trust environmental group, former Māori councillor for Bay of Plenty Regional Council, a qualified RMA hearing chair and a kuia based in Maketu.

“The Greens have always portrayed themselves as a party with principles but last week they threw that overboard by choosing to lay down and perpetuate the rape of our country’s most precious resource.

“They made this decision knowing it was in stark contrast to their own policies and campaign promises, to the values of iwi who they acknowledge as being the owners of the resource and to the Treaty of Waitangi which they refer to as the ‘basis of peace and justice’ in this country.

“Māori don’t buy the fuzzy wuzzy rhetoric that the Greens had no other choice but to support the decision. They could have changed the law or crossed the floor but they chose not to.

"Māori and others passionate about the protection of this resource will punish them for making it easier to sell our country to overseas merchants. And for making it harder for iwi to close the flood gates.

“Māori have to again assert their rangatiratanga and protect our water for our kids. It is obvious we can no longer trust the Greens to be our kaitiaki in the corridors of power.”

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