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Iwi Throws Water on Misinformation

11 September 2012

Iwi Throws Water on Misinformation

Ngāti Kahungunu Chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana, responded today to an article published in the New Zealand Herald, written by Adam Bennett, which incorrectly reported that:
• Ngāti Kahungunu will go to Court over water claim;
• The iwi has made a “bid for power company shares”; and
• Quoted Mr Tomoana as saying that the iwi was now “asserting their ownership rights to electricity state owned assets”.

Mr Tomoana responded to these claims by saying that:

“I made it very clear to the reporter (Mr Bennett) that the position of Ngāti Kahungunu is that we have been working to protect our rights and interests in water for over 20 years. Ngāti Kahungunu have always had multiple strategies including political, legal, social and cultural however our priority has been, and always will be, direct negotiations with our Treaty partner.”

In addition, Mr Tomoana has clarified that Ngāti Kahungunu has filed a claim in the Waitangi which primarily seeks Tribunal recommendations that Ngāti Kahungunu be included in any national framework of water rights recognition for Māori.

The iwi claims ownership rights under the Treaty and common law to water used by power companies, not to ownership of the power companies themselves.

Mr Tomoana concluded: “We value the trusted relationship and constructive dialogues we have had with Minister Sharples last week as a member of Government. We are meeting with him later today. We hope to engage in good faith and in a direct manner with Minister Finlayson.”

Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi is the third largest iwi with a population of 60,000 members according to the 2006 Census. The iwi has the second longest coastline in Aotearoa and stretches from Mahia, Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa.


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