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NZ First Opposes Special Privileges Over Water Rights

NZ First Opposes Special Privileges Over Water Rights


“One thing New Zealanders have learnt about the Key Government is the need for constant vigilance - in this case, against a toxic cocktail of blind ideology and naivety,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“National Ministers Bill English and Nick Smith have been holding negotiations behind closed doors with the powerful Iwi Leaders Group to carve up fresh water resources.

“These discussions were forced on the Government once the Prime Minister, against the majority view, began privatising power companies whose only real asset is New Zealand’s water. Maori quickly demanded that if private interests could own our water why couldn’t they?”

Mr Peters says that like the Foreshore and Seabed, this is one more issue that arrogant National Ministers have blundered into.

“Once again, National is doing a deal to disadvantage New Zealanders as a whole. The idea is to give iwi preferential rights - in perpetuity - to fresh-water resources.

“This is just like those rights given to private interests. These rights could then be sold to those needing water for irrigation, hydropower and other commercial uses.

“The Government’s agenda is clear. What is now in the public domain – a collective asset that we hold in common– our freshwater resources – are to handed to the favoured few.

“Water is the new wealth. No government has the right to secretly transfer billions of dollars of the collective wealth to a selected group – iwi or anyone else.

“Of course, consent to use fresh water can be granted to individuals and groups for a specific time but this is nothing like giving away rights in perpetuity.

“National has a long track record when it comes to selling out the New Zealand public and transferring New Zealand’s assets to foreign ownership.

“When fresh water resources have been allocated to iwi, and other groups, the road will be clear for yet more of New Zealand’s sovereignty to be lost to foreigners.”

Mr Peters says New Zealand First policy is based on what is in the national interest.

“We say New Zealand’s fresh water resources are the birthright of all New Zealanders. We strongly oppose National’s deceptive, divisive, ideological and now race based policy in relation to New Zealand’s fresh water resources.

“None of this will help the majority of New Zealanders or Maori. But it should be a serious wake up call to National Party voters everywhere.”


ENDS

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