May 10, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Iwi freshwater resolution by Waitangi 2016

2 min read

After many years of uncertainty and legal challenges in the Waitangi Tribunal and Supreme Court, iwi and the Crown have agreed on a work plan to address over allocation and iwi and hapu rights and interests in freshwater.

ICF-2012-ropuThe work plan was agreed by Cabinet last Monday and approved by more than 40 iwi chairs in attendance at the Iwi Chairs Forum held in Kerikeri yesterday. The Iwi Chairs Forum will be outlining their support for the work plan to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers this afternoon.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group believes that with the right engagement the issue of iwi rights and interests in fresh water could be resolved by this time next year.

Iwi have always been committed to a joint approach with the Crown to ensure that both our rights and our responsibilities in relation to fresh water are recognised. We believe the resolution of these issues is not only of importance to iwi but of benefit to all New Zealanders, says Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group deputy chairman Ta Mark Solomon.

The interest of iwi in freshwater is not limited to cultural and environmental matters but includes economic development. Iwi are farmers and forest owners too and we understand the balance that needs to be found between the demands of the environment and the economy.

We are confident that with a commitment to continued engagement from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers for the Environment and Primary Industries, we will be able to make significant progress on the development of a new and enduring framework for the governance and management of freshwater which appropriately provides for the rights, interests and responsibilities of iwi, says T? Mark Solomon.

There is no doubt these are difficult issues it will require flexibility to create new solutions that go beyond the existing suite of tools currently at our disposal. However, we are committed to the long term health and wellbeing of our waters and the opportunities that will provide for not only iwi, but for existing water users and, ultimately, all of Aotearoa.

Media contact: Roku Mihinui 027 224 6069

For more information about the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group go online to:


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