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National Iwi Chairs Forum rejects Kāhui Wai Māori proposal

National Iwi Chairs Forum rejects Kāhui Wai Māori proposal

The Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group has announced that it will not be participating in the Government’s Kāhui Wai Māori process.

Chair of the Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group, Herewini Parata, states, “Minister Parker announced the Kāhui Wai Māori proposal at the National Iwi Chairs Forum hui in Hopuhopu earlier this month. There was no prior engagement on this initiative and its terms and membership are to be determined by the Crown. That does not reflect a relationship of partnership under Te Tiriti o Waitangi .”

“The Iwi Chairs Forum was clear in its deep disappointment about this approach”, says Mr Parata, “As a result, the National Iwi Chairs Forum and the Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group will not be nominating members to this roopu.”

The Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group confirmed that it would continue to progress its own work in relation to fresh water, working on regionally focused catchment-based systems for fresh water, including developing a set of tools to assist iwi and hapū to determine solutions for their unique hydrological situations, and advancing issues relating to water quality and clean drinking water for Māori communities. The Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group is also clear that Te Mana o te Wai must be upheld and Iwi and hapū rights and interests must be recognised as fundamental elements of any new policy development relating to fresh water.

“The Pou Taiao Iwi Leaders Group and National Iwi Chairs Forum will continue to advance these important kaupapa”, says Mr Parata. “We also remain willing to engage directly with the Crown. However, any such engagement process must be developed collaboratively and any appointments made jointly; not determined unilaterally as the Crown has done.”

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