Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mike Butler: Key delegates water give-away

Prime Minister John Key is moving towards granting preferential water rights to government-created tribal corporations, thus running the risk of losing the support of large swathes of voters who supported the National Party’s previous one-law-for-all position.

A report commissioned by the Iwi Leaders Group calling for "an equitable, permanent share" of water allocations was released today, following a recent Cabinet Paper proposing criteria to give "preferential access" to private tribal companies that pay little tax on a case-by-case basis.

Talks between the powerful Iwi Leaders Group and the Government, fronted by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Environment Minister Nick Smith, are at a critical stage after ministers rejected a nationwide '”Waterlords” settlement along the lines of the outrageous Sealords deal over Maori commercial fishing claims and the Treelords giveaway of Central North Island forestry.

The claim that tribes own the water has no merit and only exists because it has repeated so often that some have started to take it as a fact.

As nineteenth century chiefs sold the large blocks of land, they also sold the water, the trees, everything above the land, and everything below it, according to deeds of land purchases that the Iwi Leaders Group conveniently ignores.

For instance, Deed No. 420 in Maori Deeds of Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand, by Henry Hanson Turton, that the Upper Waikato Block transaction says that the government paid the people of Ngatimahanga, Ngatitamainu and Ngatihourua £1000 on September 15, 1864, in a sale that included “trees, minerals, waters, rivers, lakes, streams, and all appertaining to the said land or beneath the surface of the said land”.

That £1000 for an area between the Waipa and Waikato rivers from Ngaruawahia to Lake Taupo, in 1864 would be worth $103,835.86 today, according to the Reserve Bank Inflation calculator.

These were standard deeds used in all transactions of that time.

How has the foolish Key-led government handled this latest opportunistic bid by tribal companies for water ownership? The government:
a. Acknowledges Maori interests and rights in freshwater
b. Argues that the “extent and nature of those rights are at issue”
c. Says that no one owns the water
d. Is ready to delegate to regional councils the politically risky task of allocating water to private tribal companies.

Reference to "catchment by catchment" deals at a regional government level appears in the Cabinet paper already mentioned. The Government may set criteria by which local tribal companies can get preferential access to water, catchment by catchment, Smith says.

Key’s duplicitous position of “no one owning the water but regional councils can allocate rights to tribes” coincides with central-government-driven bids in three regions, Northland, Hawke’s Bay, and Wellington, to set up super councils with Maori boards plus co-governance tribal-council regional planning committees.

Lawyer James Dunne, a partner in Chen Palmer, warned of a possible “uninformed” public backlash in light of the controversy over the Foreshore and seabed issue.

There will certainly be a public backlash – few enjoy being lied to and disadvantaged.

Maori in freshwater bid, April 12, 2015.
Turton's Deeds, Deed 420, Horotiu and Waipa Block, Upper Waikato District.


Barry said...

Key and the rest of the government just get more disgusting!

paul scott said...

There was every chance for the Nat Government to take bold steps against institutional racism.
Maybe they saw the Don Brash persona assassinated by the media and decided to just float in the water.
It is hard to believe we have a Government which regulates against equity, and against equality. By 2017 there will be an ABK construction. Anything but Key.
And then there is the RMA.

A.G.R. said...

Is the Maori Party vote so crucial to Key retaining power, or is this government so spineless & misguided, that they believe Maori descendants have some preferential privilage over the rest of us. Truth of the matter is, Maori were a tribal people who occupied, not owned, the land, until the next marauding tribe moved them on, or wiped them out. Why then is the white tribe, having to compensate any-one.

Unknown said...

And again this craven government buckles to the demands of these parasites as if the interests of the people who actually voted them in to power don't matter.
Key and his cronies have sold us out to appease a group of mixed race troughers and they don't care.

Anonymous said...

Incredible! This issue needs to be made PUBLIC so the average kiwi is aware and understands what is being proposed - then hopefully there will be an sounding backlash. This Government has become very opaque with hidden deals and proposals. We no longer really know what is going on behind closed doors!

Anonymous said...

Most don't realise Queen Victoria did not have the right nor power to grant Maoris exclusive rights over her own British subjects, this is elementary knowledge as Britain never had racial laws.

All Treaty documents which have been used to install Maori exclusive rights have been false or unauthorised translations such as, Hobson never authorised an English Treaty, and unauthorised translations of Hugh Kawharu and Prof. Margaret Mutu. Kawharu was actually a sitting Judge on the Waitangi Tribunal when he wrote what he called his "attempt at a reconstruction (note reconstruction)of the literal translation of the Maori text" and this "reconstruction" is what was accepted by the 1987 Court of Appeal to establish there was a "Partnership between Maori and the Crown" as well as the "5 Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi", the Crown likewise accepting it for the purpose of this case. Amazing how easy it is to con the people.

Could one consider this judgement as being "Out of order"?

grundle said...

The National Government is a complete disappointment. They are incapable of moving away from race based legislation. This after the 'sincere' initial pre-election promises of ending race-based politics.

It would seem anything to appease the 'cunning' and deceitful tribal demands is OK with this weak and spineless Government.

When are the population of NZ going to see a pragmatic and no-nonsense leader? These tribes must be laughing behind our backs!! falls from the sky in the form of rain and vapour. It ends up in lakes and rivers.
How can any human claim ownership of something nature provides?

But...It would seem very easy in this country!! I do not know of any other country on the planet which would consider allocating such a resource to any one group of inhabitants.

What will the next claim be... the air we breathe... the sun (solar power) the radio frequencies??

I suggest that NZ becomes a republic and quickly, then and only then, all the Treaty BS and privilege can then be kicked to touch.
I owe nothing to any tribe or particular culture...period.
Why must I and 98% of the population 'fall into line' and provide our resources to a group of losers just to enable them to 'clip-the-ticket'. IT IS ABOUT MONEY & MONEY ALONE!!

It may come as a surprise to that particular group of 'victims', but there are no 'free lunches'. However that is debatable with this spineless Government.

John Key is going the right way about loosing the next election. The hard working population in this country has had enough of limp wristed Government. Harden up and start protecting the majority of the population...NOW.

Anonymous said...

The Reverend Whatarangi Winiata, a prominent [part-] Maori Anglican, has told the Waitangi Tribunal that he would support a claim to the light from the stars and the air that we breathe on the basis that the great god Tane created space when he separated his parents, the Earth Mother and the Sky Father.

Leaving aside the heresy of and Anglican minister endorsing a pagan creation myth, if Tane did create space in this manner he created it for EVERYONE, not just for Maori.