PM Delegates Water Give-Away

by Mike Butler

Prime Minister John Key is moving towards granting preferential water rights to government-created tribal corporations, thus running the risk of losing the support of large swathes of voters who supported the National Party’s previous one-water-law-for-all position.

A report commissioned by the Iwi Leaders Group calling for an equitable, permanent share of water allocations was released today, following a recent Cabinet Paper proposing criteria to give preferential access on a case-by-case basis, to private tribal companies that pay little tax.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide Waterlords settlement along the lines of the outrageous Sealords deal over Maori commercial fishing claims and the Treelords giveaway of Central North Island forestry.

The claim that tribes own the water has no merit and only exists because it has repeated so often that some have started to take it as a fact.

When nineteenth century chiefs sold the large blocks of land, they also sold the water, the trees, everything above the land, and everything below it, according to deeds of land purchases that the Iwi Leaders Group conveniently ignores.

For instance, Deed No. 420 in Maori Deeds of Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand, by Henry Hanson Turton, for the Upper Waikato Block transaction says that the government paid the people of Ngatimahanga, Ngatitamainu and Ngatihourua £1000 on September 15, 1864, in a sale that included trees, minerals, waters, rivers, lakes, streams, and all appertaining to the said land or beneath the surface of the said land.

That £1000 for an area between the Waipa and Waikato rivers from Ngaruawahia to Lake Taupo, in 1864 would be worth $103,835.86 today, according to the Reserve Bank Inflation calculator.

These were standard deeds used in all transactions of that time.

How has the foolish Key-led government handled this latest opportunistic bid by tribal companies for water ownership? The government:
1. Acknowledges part-Maori interests and rights in freshwater;
2. Argues that the extent and nature of those rights are at issue;
3. Says that no one owns the water;
4. Is ready to delegate to regional councils the politically risky task of allocating water to private tribal companies.

Reference to catchment-by-catchment deals at a regional government level appears in the Cabinet paper already mentioned. The Government may set criteria by which local tribal companies can get preferential access to water on that catchment by catchment basis, Smith says.

Key’s duplicitous position of no one owning the water but regional councils can allocate rights to tribes coincides with central-government-driven bids to set up super councils in three regions: Northland, Hawke’s Bay, and Wellington. Each such super-council plan includes and un-elected and unaccountable part-Maori board plus co-governance tribal-council regional planning committees.

Lawyer James Dunne, a partner in Chen Palmer, warned of a possible uninformed public backlash in light of the controversy over the Foreshore and seabed issue.

There certainly should be a public backlash – unless New Zealanders enjoy being lied to and disadvantaged.

See Stuff Article

10 thoughts on “Key Delegates Water Give-Away

  1. I’m getting thoroughly fed up with Key giving everything in this country away to part-Maori. It’s fraud on a grand scale, and will cost us all money that could be better spent on everyone. Key has to be stopped before it’s impossible to right his ridiculous actions/wrongs. We were all supposed to be equal under the law and it’s just not happening.

  2. Key & Finlayson….two traitors to the people of NZ. Hope we can we deal with them the way traitors are normally dealt with… know….blindfolds and rifles etc.

  3. There will be a backlash without any doubt whatsoever. National seems blind to the likelyhood of being thrown out and cannot see the end result!!! Arrogance rules again.

  4. For gods sake what is wrong with this National Government–are they blind in both eyes and deaf in both ears.
    Wake up NZ, the End is Nigh. Is John Key such a gutless pratt that he cant say, lets stop all this bs now.

  5. What is going on in HB?
    Changing the airports name and looking at giving half as treaty settlement..
    Never ends…

  6. How much longer is this “treaty” crap going on for or will our grand children still be fighting it in years to come ?? I for one have had more than enough

  7. What’s needed is to sort out the vacuous torpor of New Zealanders and get them talking about this. Instead they bury their heads in the sand not wanting to even discuss Maori issues as they’ve been brainwashed via the left wing media machine in NZ that it’s racist and must never be mentioned. John Key is weak and feeble and bends on one knee to iwi, but he’s the strongest we’ve got in NZ. God only knows what Labour, Greens would give away to radical corporate, greedy part-Maori.

    What we need is for us like minds to get together up and down the country in face to face meetings where we can vent our spleens and meet each other and grow influence.

    It seems to me that all we’ve got in NZ is angry people (admittedly like myself) who’ll tap away at the computer keyboard with their strong views on this subject that no one sees. We need to get active and organised protest at what’s happening to raise awareness to them who simply don’t know and are apolitical.

    People need to be informed that it’s not racist to oppose this money, land, water, air grab – like the likes of Willy Jackson and his radical money grubbing mates say. I’m in Christchurch and feel the need to meet like minds instead of looking at a computer screen knowing that there’s anger and disillusionment out there. We all need to make a concerted effort to meet each other and start making noises that the media can’t ignore.

  8. If the English people hadn’t came in the 1800’s All the maori people would still run around in their reed skirts, fighting and eating each other. Now there are no official full maori in this country. They are all mixed with the white people. What rights do they have? The maori have to be very grateful to the English that they have developed New Zealand. Is grateful a word the maori don’t know? Or do they want to eat each other again? Who is going to pay for their whims?

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