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The Government Needs to Stop and Listen

PRESS RELEASE

Embargoed until 4.00 pm Friday 24th August

MANA Leader Hone Harawira

The Government Needs to Stop and Listen


“This government needs to stop in their tracks with their plan to sell state assets right now” says MANA leader Hone Harawira following the release of the Waitangi Tribunal’s Interim Report on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim. “The Tribunal has said two things – that Maori have proprietary rights akin to ownership that were guaranteed under the Treaty and that the Crown needs to stop with their plans to sell power companies until Maori rights to water have been dealt with”.

“Unless John Key wants a messy battle in the courts he needs to listen. He has tried every trick in the book to derail this claim to the Waitangi Tribunal – from saying that he will ignore the Tribunal’s findings, to trying the strategy of divide and conquer when it came to dealing with Maori, to holding ‘secret hui’ with selected iwi corporates who he believes would like to see the colour of the Crown’s money”.

“Today’s findings by the Tribunal throw a serious spanner in the works when it comes to the ‘first-class’ relationship between National and the Maori Party. Following their late-night crisis meeting last month Key made it clear that the government wouldn’t legislate against any court decision regarding Maori water rights so long as ownership was not on the table. Today the Tribunal have likened Maori proprietary rights in water to ownership”.

“Maori stand united on this issue. Water rights need to recognised and the sale of state assets stopped until those rights are sorted. The question is will the Maori Party stand united with Maori, even to the point of walking away from National? If the past is anything to go by then the answer is no”.

ENDS

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