The Federation of Maori Authorities says the Mixed-Ownership Model Bill that passed its third reading in Parliament this week reduces Treaty of Waitangi provisions and risks creating new Treaty grievances.
“The wording is such that the Treaty clause will only apply to part of the Act. This is a tighter constraint than existed previously and potentially means matters such as Maori interests in water usage by these energy companies may now be outside the legislative framework,” says Federation chief executive Te Horipo Karaitana.
“In our view that is an unacceptable constraint, impeding existing Treaty rights.”
Federation chairman Traci Houpapa adds that it is also unclear how any potential purchasers will be made fully aware of the caveated nature of the Crown’s interests, given its on-going Treaty obligations.
“All potential buyers need to be made fully aware that their future business partner (the Crown) will always need to ensure these companies uphold Treaty obligations in their business operations. That may affect returns and share values, as Treaty principles are not centered on profit maximisation.”
The Federation is now seeking a plan from the Government as to how it intends to manage Treaty obligations when the legislation comes into effect.
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