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COUNCIL SEEKS JUSTICE OVER WATER

“JUSTICE FOR MAORI CLAIMS FOR WATER IS CRUTIAL TO THE NEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF THE MAORI COUNCIL”, SAID MR MAANU PAUL, CO CHAIR OF THE NEW ZEALAND MAORI COUNCIL.

“REGIONAL AUTHORITIES, LOCAL BODY COUNCILS HAVE BEEN ACCESSING WATER FROM MAORI FOR SOME CONSIDERABLE YEARS”, EXPLAINED MR PAUL. “THE TRIBUNAL CLAIM IS PART OF THE PROCESS THAT THE COUNCIL IS USING TO ACQUIRE JUSTICE WHICH HAS BEEN LONG DELAYED”.

“THE HON. JOHN KEY HAD MET WITH SIR GRAHAM LATIMER AND MYSELF AT WAITANGI 2011 TO ANNOUNCE THE GOVERNMENTS PLAN TO SELL STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES WHICH UTILISED THE WATER THAT MAORI HAVE HAD MANA OVER.

THE COUNCIL WROTE TO JOHN KEY SEEKING A TIMEFRAME FOR NEGOTIATIONS OVER THE USE OF WATER. AT WAITANGI 2012, THE HON. JOHN KEY AND THE HON. BILL ENGLISH MET WITH TITEWHAI HARAWIRA, SIR GRAMHAM LATIMER AND MYSELF”, STATED MAANU PAUL.

“AGAIN THE COUNCIL FOLLOWED UP THE MEETING WITH A LETTER ONCE MORE SEEKING A TIMEFRAME FOR NEGOTIATIONS, BUT AGAIN, DID NOT RECEIVE A REPLY.

THE COUNCILS POSITION WAS THAT MAORI HAD MANA OVER THE WATER, THIS MEANS THAT MAORI BELIEVE THE RIGHT TO USE THE WATER WAS HELD BY MAORI”, ASSERTED MR PAUL.

“BY APRIL OF THIS YEAR, THE HON. JOHN KEY ANNOUNCED A TIMETABLE FOR THE SALE OF THE STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES. THIS SIGNALED TO THE MAORI COUNCIL THAT JOHN KEY HAD NO INTENSION TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE COUNCIL”, SAID MR PAUL.

“THE ONLY WAY MAORI COULD GAIN JUSTICE WAS TO BRING THE GOVERNMENT IN FRONT OF THE TREATY OF WAITANGI TRIBUNAL”, EXPLAINED MR PAUL.

“THIS IS THE FIRST LEGAL STEP FOR MAORI TO GAIN JUSTICE FOR THE MANA, THAT IS, THE RIGHT TO CONTROL THE USE OF THEIR WATER”, CONTINUED MR PAUL.

“ULTIMATELY THE REFUSAL OF THE GOVERNMENT TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE NZ MAORI COUNCIL MEANT THAT JUSTICE WAS DELAYED AND THIS TRANSLATES INTO JUSTICE BEING DENIED”, CONCLUDED MR PAUL.

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