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Hui Recognises Indigenous World Water Day

Press Release: Aotearoa Educators
For Immediate use
Wednesday 21 March 2007.


Tino Rangatiratanga Hui Recognises Indigenous World Water Day

A Tino Rangatiratanga symposium held at Victoria University’s Te Herenga Waka marae on Thursday 22nd March will recognise Indigenous World Water Day and coincides with actions by Indigenous peoples globally.

“Mâori are demonstrating their concerns over water by marking Indigenous World Water Day” says Aotearoa Educators spokesperson Maraea Teepa.

“Mâori are in the same position as many other Indigenous peoples around the world- fighting the commodification of water. The government’s Sustainable Water Programme of Action shows a commitment to sustainable water use, which is all well and good, but is also about encouraging trading of water rights. But does the government own water? Evidence suggests hapû and iwi continue to have customary rights to water and exercise tino rangatiratanga over waterways. The government needs to acknowledge that they do not have exclusive ownership of water, must not act unilaterally to decide what will happen with it, and should not in any event be making it into a commodity. This has long been the call from Mâori – even the government’s own report on consultation with Mâori stressed this.

“Mâori are marking this day with other Indigenous peoples around the world to show that we care about water, do not want it commodified and want the inherent customary title rights of Indigenous peoples to be recognised to water.

--

Background

The Tino Rangatiratanga Symposium is being held at Te Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University Thursday 22nd March 1- 3 pm. Maria Bargh, Tonga Karena, Teurikore Biddle and Ocean Mercier; will discuss the situation of tino rangatiratanga in different areas; politics of water, Treaty claims, te reo, translations and physics.

The Indigenous World Water Day Call to Action came from the Indigenous Environmental Network (www.ienearth.org ) in the United States.

ENDS

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