(Radio Waatea) All roads and rivers in Te ao Maori lead today to Ngaruawahia for the first national water hui.
King Tuheitia has thrown open the gates of Turangawaewae Marae for Maori to discuss a concerted response to the New Zealand Maori Council led claim which aims to stop the sale of the state power companies until Maori interests in water are quantified and provided for.
Hui facilitator Tukoroirangi Morgan says it’s an issue that affects more than the iwi associated with lakes and rivers used by Mighty River Power, who are the only ones the Government intends to talk with at this stage in the sale process.
“Irrespective of where you are water affects all of us. We drink water, we swim in it. Water and our people are indivisible. We are one with the waterways in this country. We have been stewards since time immemorial, kaitiaki of that taonga. It is now up to us to step up and protect our rights and interests and fortify our position,” he says.
The hui started with a powhiri late morning and finishes with an address from King Tuheitia.