Monday, July 23, 2012

Elizabeth Rata: New Zealand Constitution - why iwi have got it wrong

*The NZCPR WEEKLY newsletter is delivered free each week - register here. This week's Guest Commentary extract:

There is deep disquiet throughout the country about iwi claims for water rights. However by focussing on the resource itself; previously the foreshore and seabed, this time water, next time airwaves, geothermal energy, and so on, we are in danger of overlooking the source of the issue, of overlooking why such claims can be made in the first place. To find the fundamental flaw in the tribes’ case for the ownership of  public resources such as water we need look not only at what is to be owned but at who is claiming ownership. The essence of the tribal claim is that iwi represent a separate ‘public’ – the Maori people - and are therefore entitled to own the resources of that ‘public... Read More

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