Water means more than money - Harawira

"172 years ago our ancestors signed an agreement to protect our rights to our ‘taonga’ - the Treaty of Waitangi. Today the New Zealand Maori Council, on behalf of all Maori, seeks the assistance of the Supreme Court of New Zealand to uphold the articles in that agreement and the protection mechanisms that our tupuna signed up to"

"That’s why, on behalf of all New Zealanders opposed to the sale of state assets, I want to wish the Maori Council all the best in their efforts to stop the sale of the power companies until the issue of Maori water rights has been resolved" said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira.

"Justice Young ruled in the High Court that the Crown has the capacity to settle treaty issues after the sale of the power companies" said Harawira "but treaty rights cannot be ‘settled’ simply through financial compensation or shareholdings"

"His ruling ignored the fact that the Crown refused to properly "consult" with affected parties and has shown a complete disregard for the principle of "good faith" in its pronouncements on Maori interests in water.

"Justice Young’s ruling was also completely at odds with the ruling of the Waitangi Tribunal that if the sale went ahead it would be a breach of the treaty. Maori interests in water have yet to be clearly defined, and the process by which that is done at hapu and iwi level needs to be carried out before any negotiations can take place.

"Our tupuna signed the Treaty of Waitangi - an event we commemorate next week - and we offer our continued support to those advocating the defence of our rights under that Treaty.

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