Maori Council wins application for urgent hearing
New Zealand Maori Council wins application for
urgent hearing of SOE and Water claims
Media Release 28 March 2012
The chairman of the New Zealand Maori Council, Sir Graham Latimer, says he is delighted by the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision to hold urgent hearings regarding the sale of the shares in state owned energy companies and Maori treaty rights over water.
“This decision creates an opportunity for Maori and the Crown to make another huge historic step towards reconciliation based on the partnership created by the Treaty of Waitangi,” Sir Graham says.
The New Zealand Maori Council’s solicitor, Donna Hall, says in granting the application, the Tribunal has acknowledged the critical importance of the claims not only to all Maori but to the nation as a whole. “The Tribunal has also held that if the Government proceeds with its proposed asset sales without resolving these claims the claimants are likely to suffer imminent, significant and irreversible prejudice.”
“While the New Zealand Maori Council is spearheading these claims for the benefit of all Maori, it will not hinder any Maori organisations that wish to have their own voice at the Tribunal. These are issues of major national importance.” Ms Hall says.
She hoped the decision will encourage the Government to come to the table and engage with all Maori on these issues in a way that no previous Government has done.