Māori Council wants to talk to the Government
Māori Council wants to talk to the
The Māori Council is advising the Government to call a hui of Māori leaders and interested parties to find a way forward over Māori water rights in the wake of the Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Māori proprietary rights exist.
The Deputy Chair of the Council, Rahui Katene, told TVNZ’s Marae Investigates that it’s time to find a framework that will suit everyone. She said the Government must be careful. “They are on record now as saying that they are prepared to act in good faith, if they walk away from that decision and go ahead with the sales they are showing that they are not acting in good faith and what we need is a treaty partner that is always going to act in good faith and sit down and talk with us. That’s all we want at this stage, is to be able to talk to them.”
Rahui Katene told Marae Investigates Scotty Morrison that if the Government won’t listen to the Tribunal findings the Māori Council is prepared to take action. “Look there are lots of options open to us. What we don’t want to see is another Foreshore and Seabed situation. And so of course we always have the option of going to court and with the Tribunal report in our back pocket, that’s going to be so much stronger.”
She brushed off criticism by some that Māori might be seen as holding the country to ransom for shares and royalties. “We believe these are property rights and as property rights they should be protected as much as anyone else’s are. So you as a householder know what your property rights are... so that you can sell, you can rent, you can do anything you want within your home. We want to have the same right over our property.”
Meanwhile the representatives of the hapū, who’ve spent 30 years trying to claim their rights over Poroti Springs,near Whangarei, say they’re delighted with the Tribunal’s decision. Lorraine Norris said she was able to announce the findings during an Environment Court hearing on Friday afternoon, where the hapū are opposing a Northland Regional Council decision to allow a company to take more water from Poroti Springs. She told the programme recognition of Māori proprietary rights will strengthen their voice. “I think we all need to listen to the advice given on Friday and start to talk and that’s got to include the Regional Councils talking to hapū.” said Lorraine Norris.
Taipari Munro told Marae Investigates that all the people of Poroti Springs wanted was to have a say in the decision making around the Springs.