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Dr Muriel Newman

Race-based Water Rights a Step Closer

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Water rightsWater is being targeted by the Maori elite as the next resource to control. The influential Iwi Leaders Group is pushing ahead with their demand for a proprietary right to freshwater. They want a preferential allocation – in perpetuity – that can be commercialised. They say it’s their right under the Treaty of Waitangi. But it’s not – it’s just another attempted money grab and unfortunately our political leaders are allowing them to get away with it.

Ngapuhi’s David Rankin expresses it this way, “Prior to the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, Maori never owned water.  And even after Europeans arrived, Maori never owned water.  So there is no cultural basis or historical precedent for the claim.  Neither is it a Treaty right.

“This is just a case of opportunism, and on the basis of the foreshore and seabed issue, Maori have learned that if we keep pushing for the right to something, eventually, a weak Government will give in and hand it over to us. This is how iwi corporations have secured Auckland’s mountains, national parks, the foreshore and seabed, mining rights, forestry rights, and radio frequencies.”

The current situation is that while the Prime Minister continues to reassure the public that, “In terms of ownership of water, the Government’s position is very clear – no one owns water”, government Ministers are planning on giving iwi special rights over water that are tantamount to ownership.

What’s worse, they intend passing the responsibility for such allocations on to Regional Councils – no doubt in the hope of avoiding a political backlash: “In a Cabinet paper, Nick Smith points to possible ‘catchment by catchment’ deals at a regional government level. The Crown has acknowledged Maori interests and rights in freshwater but their extent and nature is at issue. The Government may set criteria by which local iwi can get preferential access to water, catchment by catchment.”

The reform of freshwater management was first put on the political agenda by the former Labour government in 2006 through their Sustainable Water Programme of Action. It has been continued by National’s Land and Water Forum.

Iwi leaders jumped at the opportunity to influence the development of a new framework for freshwater management and convened a freshwater committee and an advisory group in 2007.

The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group consists of the leaders of 8 iwi – Ngai Tahu, Whanganui, Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Raukawa, Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungunu, and Ngati Kuri. They report on the progress of reforms in freshwater and the Resource Management Act to all iwi through the National Iwi Chairs Forum. The Iwi Advisory Group meets with Crown officials fortnightly and reports to the Iwi Leaders Group six weekly – coinciding with the attendance of Cabinet Ministers including Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Minister for the Environment Nick Smith.

Confirming a proprietary right to freshwater was the objective of an urgent claim by the Maori Council to the Waitangi Tribunal in early 2012 – ahead of National’s planned partial privatisation of power generators. The Maori Council argued, “Maori have unsatisfied or unrecognised proprietary rights in water, which have a commercial aspect, and that they are prejudiced by Crown policies that refuse to recognise those rights or to compensate for the usurpation of those rights for commercial purposes”.

The Waitangi Tribunal found in their favour in August of that year: “Our generic finding is that Maori had rights and interests in their water bodies for which the closest English equivalent in 1840 was ownership rights, and that such right were confirmed, guaranteed, and protected by the Treaty of Waitangi…” That finding was no surprise given the Tribunal’s pro-Maori bias.  A second report is due out soon, which will no doubt be equally as biased.

Just weeks after the release of the Tribunal’s report, the Maori King Tuheitia Paki called over 1,000 tribal representatives to Ngaruawahia to discuss the ownership and control of New Zealand’s water. He declared, “We have always owned the water” and stated that their ultimate goal was for Maori to control freshwater, rather than regional councils.

But the King’s claim that Maori have always owned water is plainly absurd. Everyone – even tribal opportunists – knows that rain and water, snow and ice, are naturally occurring and essential for life on earth. This is the basis of the common law position.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Judge Anthony Willy, a retired District and Environment Court Judge and former Canterbury University Law Lecturer, explains:

“New Zealand is a country which is governed by the rule of law. The enquiry should therefore begin with how water was treated by the common law – ‘common’ because it applies to all without regard to privilege or special interest pleading by minority groups.

“At common law land including the land underneath water was regarded as a commodity like any other that could be owned and transacted. Indeed it is the ownership of land which is at the heart of a market based economy and the resulting social norms.

“Water was never regarded by the common law as a commodity in that sense. In the cases of Mason v Hill decided in 1833 and Ballard v Tomlinson decided in 1885 the Courts held that a land owner had no right to the ownership of water which either flows thorough, or percolates within that land. In this way the courts recognised that water like air is not only vital to the survival of all species on the planet but is something in which humanity has no hand in creating. It therefore, like air occupies a unique status in the eyes of the common law – it cannot be owned by anybody.”

In his article “Questions of Water Rights and Ownership”, David Round, lecturer in law at the University of Canterbury, explains the present regulatory regime affecting water:

“At common law there was no ownership of water; a landowner had the right to use the water that flowed over his land, but he was obliged to pass it on to landowners further downstream undiminished in quality or quantity. In 1967 Parliament made the Water and Soil Conservation Act, which declared that except in certain pretty limited situations no-one could use any ‘natural water’ ~ which is all water, frozen, liquid or steam, not in a pipe, tank or cistern ~ without a permission ~ a ‘water right’ as it was called ~ granted by a regional water board.

“The Resource Management Act largely continued these arrangements. ‘Water rights’ were rechristened ‘water permits’, and are now granted and regulated by regional councils. As before, anyone can apply for one, and the order of priority is simply ‘first come first served’; a regional council does not weigh up the competing benefits and costs of different projects using the same water, but simply grants water ~ assuming water is available ~ to whomever asks first. Water permits last for a maximum of thirty-five years. There is no right of renewal, but holders of existing permits do have a certain priority when seeking a brand new permit for the same thing.”

So while no-one can own freshwater in New Zealand, iwi leaders are pushing the government for race-based rights akin to ownership. They know that control of water brings power. They also know that water is big business. The Ministry for the Environment puts the economic value of New Zealand’s water at $34.85 billion a year – iwi corporations want a permanent share.

To strengthen their case they commissioned economic consultants, the Sapere Group, to outline the value to the country of providing an “iwi allocation” of water through changing from the present resource consent permit system to a rights-based regime. They claim that billions of dollars worth of benefits would flow over time to consent owners, councils and the government, dwarfing the $100 million in transition costs and the $30 million annual operating costs.

In the face of these on-going attempts by corporate iwi to gain control of public resources, New Zealand clearly needs our Prime Minister to categorically reject such opportunism. After all, that’s what former Prime Minister Helen Clark did when the Waitangi Tribunal found in favour of Maori claims to oil and gas reserves – she quashed the claim by ruling it was not in the ‘national interest’.

This is clearly a case where, as a respected and popular Prime Minister, John Key needs to stand firm against iwi claims for special treatment over water – in the national interest.

If he doesn’t Northland’s new MP, Winston Peters, will. He says that, New Zealand’s fresh water resources are the birthright of all New Zealanders and he strongly opposes National’s “deceptive, divisive, ideological and now race based policy”.

He says that “What is now in the public domain – a collective asset that we hold in common – our freshwater resources – are to be handed to the favoured few. Water is the new wealth. No government has the right to secretly transfer billions of dollars of the collective wealth to a selected group – iwi or anyone else.

“Of course, consent to use fresh water can be granted to individuals and groups for a specific time but this is nothing like giving away rights in perpetuity. When fresh water resources have been allocated to iwi, and other groups, the road will be clear for yet more of New Zealand’s sovereignty to be lost to foreigners.”

National MP Judith Collins is also extremely critical of plans to allocate water on the basis of race. She says, that the Sapere report “…relies heavily on a 2012 Waitangi Tribunal report finding that Maori had ‘…Treaty rights of a residual proprietary nature’ in freshwater. I say everyone has a residual right to fresh water. It is disappointing to see iwi leaders attempting to use this non-binding finding like a Trojan horse for their real goal to create a massive profit generating market at the expense of New Zealanders.”

Former National Party Leader Dr Don Brash is also concerned that if Maori are given preferential access to freshwater, National could hand NZ First a powerful ‘one law for all’ election platform. Dr Brash believes that concern over preferential rights for Maori is “just below the surface” but is growing.

In 2005, of course, National almost won the election under the leadership of Dr Brash, on the back of a 2004 speech at Orewa attacking special rights for Maori. Dr Brash warns that if National isn’t careful now, it could hand a similar campaign to its rivals – especially NZ First. “It would be a very powerful campaign for him to run. He’s very strong in the provinces – witness Northland – and this has tended to be a provincial issue.”

Iwi attempts to gain ownership of New Zealand’s freshwater should be stopped now before it’s too late. In the national interest, the Prime Minister must not only reaffirm the government’s bottom line position that no-one owns water, but he must also put an end to Nick Smith’s plan for race-based water allocations through regional councils that would confer the rights of ownership.

If you too believe that iwi should not be given ownership rights to New Zealand’s freshwater, then you need to take action. Contact government MPs and let them know how you feel about their proposed deal with iwi. Sign our petition to re-affirm that water rights must not be allocated on the basis of race. Send our newsletter on to others to inform them of the situation and to encourage them to act. If there is enough support we will consider a public information campaign with newspaper ads. Public pressure can stop this, but it needs to be widespread and pro-active!


Should Maori to own, manage and allocate water rights in New Zealand?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Keys again out of control with English and Smith are under the hypnosis and scared still ofmariodom and their voodisim.. New Zealanders would be far better sending Keys a pony with out a tail and a side package the tail and pin so he can play with it at home. Robert
God created water for all people to share and not for a privilege few to dominate.It is time for the people of this beautiful country to stand up to these money hungry dictators instead of sitting back and hoping allwill be ok somebody else will sort it. John
NO! Look what is happening already at Lake Taupo. That should be enough warning. It is ridiculous. Russell
The lunatics are well on their way to being in charge if the asylum. What a tragedy in so many ways that this idea is even being contemplated. Gary
What makes Maori the owners of the water after all water was part of the country long before Maori landed on these islands. Elizabeth
Water is God given for all. Keri
No! For a thousand reasons! John Key needs to grow some cojones and stamp on this nonsense before it goes beyond the point of no return. And, under NO circumstances should regional, often divided, councils be allowed to make decisions on such an important issue. John Key is, for better or worse, our Prime Minister. It’s time he started behaving like one. Les
What a gutless lot national are. No one owns our air, water or any other natural resource. Bulk of people feel as though they have no say in matters that effect everyone. ie Homosexuals law reform,anti smacking bill, foreshore and seabed giveaway. Pierce
Every one has the right to water fresh or otherwise. Ross
It has been suggested that it was World War One, when Maori and pakeha were united in fighting a common enemy, that saw the beginning of New Zealand’s forging of a national identity. What has gone wrong, when one hundred years later we have a government contemplating awarding privileged rights to the country’s fresh water to a small segment of the population claiming entitlement on the grounds of some degree or other of Maori ancestry?.Such a short sighted divisive proposal is an insult to the huge majority of the rest of us, Maori and non-Maori alike. Beverley
The iwi proposition is a ridiculous one. Michael
Absolutely not! Water, like air, is a common and public good, owned by no-one. Rights to water must not be handed over to Maori – or anyone for that matter. Unelected Iwi leaders are being heard too easily by the government. and of course, the Waitangi Tribunal will always find in favour of Maori, changing history if need be to bolster their case. Ordinary New Zealanders, beware, and be afraid of what is happening under our noses! Laurence
No one owns our water, what comes out of the sky is a gift from above, free for all new zealanders. not to be given away to an asian company, that is out right theft, or does john key think its his to give away? Anna
How corrupt can our government regime be? Article 3 of the Treaty establishes that Mulatos, Quadroons & Octaroons all have equal rights. The existence of a preliterate society is no cause to return to that standard. Brian
Why should we even acknowledge such a racist request, maybe we should get mike Hoskins to debate it on tv. Bill
Another disgraceful money grab by racist maori and their partners in crime the politicians. Can someone please inform me when maori were given preferential status in NZ and where in the Treaty does it say that maori are special therefore deserving of rights that the rest of us are not entitled to? Stevo
Maori should not, do not, must not be granted ownership, part ownership or even any right to grant a water right to any body be they Pakeha , Maori or whoever. It is dangerous. Albie
Outrageous, if this brownmail is given the green light, then John Key deserves to lose the next election. Winston Peters is already the official opposition as Andrew Little’s Labour proved in the Northland bye-election. Monica
What Next. Peter
Clean water is a basic need to which everyone should have a right. John
Certainly not, there is no case for it, just as there is no case for accepting the claim to ownership of the air or radio frequencies or the foreshore, or the rivers. Martin
Once agian we have tollerate there insatiable greed for money and control , why dosent the goverment grow some balls and say no to them once and for all!!! Shane
Absolutely not!! Don
Not in a million years. Richard
Any water they claimed has gone to sea. All other water is new and is everyone’s. Bruce
Thats a huge NO. Notice how maori are slowly infiltrating strategic areas. Winnie is looking like getting my vote next time. Peter
National should once and for all put a stop to Maori greed and refuse to even consider such a self serving race based demand on water ownership that Maori leaders are making,, regardless of whether it is in disguise through regional administration or at national level. No mater how many times anyone reads the Treaty of Waitangii no one, but no one can truthfully say there is even the slightest reference to any group of people having any form of control over the naturally occurring water resources. The Iwi claim is nothing other than pure unadulterated Maori greed.  Lex
Definity not., it belongs to us all. Winis
The water is natures natural resource to all people living in NZ. Jill
Definitely not – no-one owns water and it certainly should not be distributed on the basis of race. The Regional Councils, in view of their poor performance to date, need clear direction on this. Terry
It’s incredible that ANYBODY would consider that this would be justified under any circumstance.. The fact that we even have to consider it is very very disturbing. John
This would be another nail in the coffin of the God Given rights of every non maori New Zealander. Urban
Maori claims to water ownership must be stopped for good. Barry
Absolutely not! Peter
Nobody can own water, you can only borrow it. then it evaporates and comes back as rain. John
When soveriginity was ceeded in 1840 (Treaty of Waitangi) water rights would have become as with British Comon law. Just slavery was abolished. Michael
Absolutely not. However, I very much doubt that National have the cajones to say NO. Key is scared of the hikoi from hell and you have to ask if he and his cabinet are fit to govern. Ronmac
If this is allowed to proceed even to the slightest degree it could well be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and cost John Key his job and National the government benches for a long time. Gordon
Water should belong to all. Des
Nobody can own water. We can be charged for its use, as we are now, but that is all. Andrew
How ridiculous to think any race or creed owns water. It’s another way of making money and should be put to rest once and for all. Jan
Totally absurd.!  Viv
Water should never be owned but administered by the Crown for the benefit of all NZers’ The commercialism of water rights is a dangerous concept. Rayna
Has this National Government gone Mad? Clive
Absolutely not.. Our Government MUST be positive and make a stand immediately against such nonsense. Derek
No one owns the water,With any luck it might just be a step too far (after Chris Findlayson’s hell bent plans to give the whole country to Maori), and hopefully the general public will for once take a stand against such racist moves. Lorraine
Absolutely ridiculous that Maori should own the water!!! David
DEFINITELY NOT The Government should not give in to this ludicrous proposal. Lynn
The very idea is so stupid as to be treasonous. What are they trying to do? Have us start a civil war? Dianna
We are totally against anybody or bodies having ownership of any water in NZ Ingerson
Does this mean we can sue Maori when we have a major event (flood) which causes water damage since it is their water which caused the damage? Will foreign nations be able to do the same since the water will migrate overseas as well? Kevin
I am asking, What is the hidden agenda here? Is it simply giving the “indigenous” people a chance to resume “ownership” of “Aotearoa”, bit by bit? Or is it that National MPs are getting a very healthy kick-back? Or is it somehow to protect NZ from the claws of exceedingly wealthy corporations getting their avaricious hands onto a vital item that literally affects every man, woman and child? (They don’t care how most of us feel, just so long as they get their pound of flesh – so to speak) “It’s business – that’s all!” To sum it up – Who makes from the deal? Rod
We are all New Zealanders so we ALL own the water. Brian and Lorraine
Why not just give them money every time they open their mouths! I hope that Mr Key and his government has the determination to say.. ENOUGH!… That to consider that less than 15% of the population can have so much influence on Government based on a flawed British treaty, is laughable!! Neville
Why should they control anything.I wonder how they would like Pakeha to control/own water and stick it to them.When will this maori BS STOP. Bob
Never never never! Jim
Too silly for words. Mike
It is an unequivocal no! We have a spineless Prime Minister who has spent nearly three terms of appeasement to Maori Interests. and helped establish a neo-apartheid state if it continues. The water issue should be the one he makes a stand on, but don’t hold your breathe. Tom
When are we going to get a Government which firmly sticks to The Articles in The Treaty Of Waitangi; which says ‘We are one” Nobody owns water we all have a share in ALL resources regardless OF RACE. Let’s get RACE out of Government, including out of Local Government. Graeme
Never, ever, ever…..it’s absurd. Water belongs belongs to everyone equally. Peter
Sometime I just despair of this country. David
Yeah, right! Rob
This would simply be a massive theft of a public good!!! Dennis
I have been advocating for some time now that John Key should bring in legislation where by that every one is a New Zealander and that there is one law for all. Should he not kill off this crazy idea that Maori own the water, then he is leaving the door wide open for Winston Peters. If nothing is done then I like millions of other will vote for Winston. Because if this country is to prosper we need to be one people, we con keep that which is good Maori as it will float to the top by its self. John
Water rights belong to all NZers – current generation and all future generations. They should never be sold to anyone. They rightly invest in the Crown. Tony
Stop this racist nonsense, this is one country where all are equal regardless of colour even if the colours are slowly changing. Tom
How much longer and more money spent on Treaty claims? Maori are happy to accept the use of our hospitals,, houses, education systems etc.etc.which improved their lives but still want to drag up fictitious or otherwise claims from the past. Greed is what causes wars. Mary
This would be a joke if it wasn’t here, happening right now! Ian
Its time we wear all the same. Richard
Its just ridiculous and so out of control. NZ people do something to stop it. Maori are not indigenous and had no right to anything. Thank you Mr Lange for starting this sham. Chris
It is cruicial that this is stopped befor the very clever manipulating Iwi get the chance to use the race card to manipulate support from political represtatives at government and regional government levels (where there are now many regions where non elected Maori have voting powers). Bryan
The Maori Party has John Key over a barrel. He will give in to all of their demands – anything to cling to power. Next we will see a huge push to enshrine the Treaty in a re-written constitution, and when he folds and gives in to that we will officially be an apartheid nation. Oh for a PM with a bit of moral courage. Mitch
As the Prime Minister says – water does not “belong” to anyone. The Maori claim is absolute nonsense. David
Water belongs to everybody, it was here first, any way who are maori ??? Iwi are a business corperation and do not represent the average person, neither does the average person benefit from iwi doings. Peter
Once aga in I am bloody sick to the teeth of Maori claiming everything in N.Z. that would ultimately give them total control of this country. The iwi group and the Waitangi Tribunal should be told to go and get lost. Mike
Just another grab by the greedies. Why doesn’t our whimsy PM just tell them to go away and then abolish this treaty waitangi gravy train. Why do the people of Nelson keep voting Nick Smith into Parliament? If this devious lying lot of Nats are NOT NEGOTIATING a deal with these so-called natives, why doesn’t KEY just say NO NO NO to these cunning, conniving bastards? Carolyn
Maori must NEVER be allowed to own, manage or allocate water rights in New Zealand. I ORDER all of you to stop voting National and instead vote for any party that supports a common law for every citizen of New Zealand. Ernest
Absolutely NOT ! Equal rights for all Kiwis. James
No way. This is the thin end of the wedge. Any government who agrees that Maori can allocate rights, has been conned. We have to stop this one. Water comes from the sky. To bring it into the Treaty of Waitangi is absolute nonsense. I am sick of Maori money grabbing opportunities. They have to be stopped immediately. Frank
I am 1/8th Maori and my children have married part Maori partners. i do not support race based privileges. We all have the opportunity in NZ to be successful. We are New Zealanders who are governed by New Zealanders and all of us should support equal rights. Brian
Definitely not. Clyde
Most certainly not. Who runs this country – the National govt. or Waitangi Tribunal? When The Waitangi Tribunal dreams up another claim, the Govt. says yes. Isobel
Definitely not. Barbara
But it isn’t a Maori owned company which plans to bottle massive volumes of Piu Pui Springs water .. Rochelle
The government is promoting apartheid in this country. With some sectors more equal than others! Laurie
Racism In Kiwiland once again by a left Wing National Government. Greg
Water is owned by everyone See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1a3tjqQiBI&feature=player_embedded Will give you what is happening to water when people take control. And what happens when the the people fight back We can all do it. Ron
NZCPR has it in a nutshell (read large vessel) Spread the word. Donating today. Sandy
Water cannot be owned by anyone and certainly not by greedy Maori elite. Put some backbone into our PM. Ann
No race should have rights over water. That is a governmental position. Ronald
You of course mean “part-maori”, which denotes “part other”….there being no full blooded maori in NZ!!! Patricia
This is beyond sickening. First the airwaves, then the seabed, now the bloody water. Im sick to my gut ! Des
Nobody should own water use it wisely no waste. Judith
New Zealand was one of the foremost anti-apartheid countries in the world and now this and preceding governments are becoming apartheid advocates. Grow a spine and stand up for all NZers not just the corporate maori elite and your big business cronies. Kevin
Water is a productfrom nature and given free from the skysfor all to enjoy free and not owned by any group and should remain that way. John
Just another rip off sanctioned by Maori biased Waitangi Tribunal! Alan
Yet a further move to create “apartheid” in New Zealand. Guus
Like the air we breath, water is an universal gift to all mankind. No-one owns is, or ever should. Failure to observe this tenant will set man against man, something I thought we had learned 100 years ago to never engage again. Simon
Unbelievable ! What or who do the maoris think they are, after their claim for control of water, will they then claim rights to the air, when will they be satisfied? answer…NEVER. not until they have rights to the whole planet and even then there remains the whole universe. The weak and patronising politicians (all of them) that we are currently enduring seem hell bent on furthering race based laws, will they listen to the majority of the NZ public, of course not, that requires some intelligence. Long overdue it is that a stop to all these money driven claims by the maoris in their attempts to hijack the country. David
Grow some balls John and put a stop to this endless crap. Donald
APARTHEID in NZ is alive and well. Water tights based on race further entrenches this outrage. Geoff
No way one country one people we are all equal with equal rights. Margaret
Never the water belongs to all of us never to one Race who ever they are. John may have to go and pull a few more Pig Tails. Geoff
I strongly disagree with race based policies . One law and system for all new Zealanders. Tim
That’s pure racism. Peter
No, definitely not. Are we not as honest tax paying New Zealanders earnt the right and privilege to decide who owns what in this beautiful country. Frank
This is another step towards Separatisim. Together we succeed, divided we fall. Sue
If National vote this through my wife & I will never vote for them again. Bloody greedy maoris. Jim
Hungary Maoris again? We are all NZers, let us all share the countries assets equally. Brian
No one should. Peter
It has to be a political campaign. Nothing else gets through to this Govt. They sell us out on everything – fisheries, coasts, forests, oil – and iwi feture in much of this. Curious how white some iwee are – really just thieves who double dip – New Zealanders rights and ethnic rights – it sucks. Alastair
More racism from a gutless Govt. Ian
All for one one for all. John
Should anyone have exclusive rights over water? Certainly at present Regional Councils are in the box seat over this one. Otherwise the Government in its haste to ‘Pass the Buck’ to them would have come down with a decision one way or the other; however that would have been an electoral risk to far. Of course they are between the rock and the hard place over this question due entirely too placing Maori aspirations and demands above all others. The recent policy of Political Parties handing over just about everything to secure Maori Party support in Parliament, bodes ill for non Maori; also there is another factor which will influence the National Party not to upset or to be seem as saying no to Maori demands. That is, with a seat on the Security Council, any suggestion, faint or implied, of forbidding Maori Indigenous Rights would be seen as racial abuse. This is especially so, since P.M. Key authorised the signing of the U.N. Indigenous Rights Act! So the decision if any, lies at the feet of Regional Councils, organisations whose imminent demise is clear for all to see with the Government backing of the amalgamation of councils. Into this caldron we will all land up with a similar very confused and bureaucratic type Super Council which now represents Auckland, but without their political clout on election night! What is betting that in this process, we shall see a total control gained by Maori of water by subversive and non democratic means as well as any other extraordinary demands being made at that time by the elite Iwis? Brian
Why should they have this right. water is there for everybody. This is Maori wanting more control. If things keep on going like this war with the Maori people could happen again. Time to stop and think. I throught we were to work together for New Zealand. Robert
Water belongs to everyone. Helen
Most Definitley not.. Richard
Water comes from the sky, should maori own the clouds too? !!! Valerie
Water is for everyone and not a maori right. Shirley
Legalised race-based water suppliers – NEVER ! Don
Water is a fundamental right of every citizen. Trevor
Who’s suppose to be governing this country? Les
Another example of the appalling ” maorification ” of this lovely country. Wah
Access and use – within reason – is our right – please don’t further divide NZ. Bruce
Should be controlled by government. Carol
The ownership right to fresh water belongs to no one and everyone. Rog
Unbelievable !! Yet more greed by Maori.Whats next ??? The air we breathe? Stop this insane rubbish , wake up National. Ray
Hell no!!!!!!!!! Allan
Certainly NOT. David
We live in a rural area and have 2 x 22500 litre water tanks that I fill off my roof for our water, which IWI do I have to consult with to flush my toilet and how long will I have to hold on before they send me consent to have a dump? This country is going to hell in a hand basket and our gutless polititians are fairly and squarely to blame for the situation we now find ourselves in. It’s time to fight back! Stevo
Never, never, never! Jan
Definitely not, it does not belong to anyone. Ken
Most definitely NO. Water is vital to all forms of life and should not be “owner end” by any individual or group. Kevin
The National party will spend a long time in the wilderness if they pass water ownership to ANYBODY. David
STOP CREATING APARTHEID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No civilized country should have anything determined by race! It’s time to grow up as a nation! Andy
Is there no end to Maori greed. Grow some balls John Key. You are a disgrace to the TAXPAYERS. And you,Nick Smith, you are a very dangerous person. Russell
Why not give them the air while you areat it. NO NO NO Murray
No,No,No,No,No,No Rod
Water is a natural resource and belongs to everyone. Yolande
Preposterous idea. Catherine
Time the country came to its senses and realised that nobody owns water we all have the right to expect clean water for our needs in this country. Thank goodness we have water a lot of other countries do not have the privilege of turning on a tap and having clean water. Laurel
What don’t they want? Neil
The notion that Maori own(by any means ) our natural deposits/reservoirs of water is absurd to the extreme. Chris
What, did they invent the stuff? Andy
Hands off Bludgers. John
Very weak argument from part Maori people. Richard
Its obvious, no need for comment, NO,! Marsden
Maoris are out of line now re the Treaty, but the water issue is just ridiculous. Time a government stood up for all Kiwis. Chris
Water is for all New Zealanders to share equally and not to be controlled by race. Joan
NO! – they don’t own anything – never did and never will! Scott
Most definitely not. Bill
A ludicrous suggestion that anyone owns or has proprietary rights over natural fresh water. Taken to it’s logical conclusion presumably Tuwharetoa levied Tainui and others for the use of the Waikato!! Richard
Absolutely not!! Just another way for iwi to get even more funds into their hands. Lorna
When will it ever end? Is every party afraid of lsing these votes? Rob
Already Maori have been give rights to the lake beds….. With the water tights as well we would be expected to pay to go trout fishing which Maori already get a kickback form a present age of the fishing licence we pay now.. A northern tribe have even tried to charge for success to a beach in the past. Barry
Fresh, clean water should be available to everyone. It should NOT, ever be owned by any one person or group! Therefore, my response to the question “Should Maori own, manage and allocate water rights in New Zealand?” is a resounding NO. Diana
Hell, no. Colin
It would be stealing from all the people of New Zealand and they have got away with enough already. Stop now before it is to late. Kick out the like of Nick Smith. Johan
Not ever. Fresh water is NOT a treaty issue. Race based water rights is unthinkable. Helen
Incredible that any credence should be given to such a blatantly outrageous claim. Thank you for alerting us to the moves underway to try and gain such rights. Hope they can be stopped in their tracks by a positive response to your alert. Arthur
Will Iwi want to stake a claim on the water in my tank that I Own, that comes via the roof which I also own.? Don
No way, no one should ever own it. John
No way, who do these part maori iwi things think they are? James
No one can own fresh water rights – it would be held in common ownership for ll New Zealanders in pepertuty. Leon
It belongs to everybody. Iwi are just wanting another grab at what is not theirs but everybodies it is about time we said NO. They also pay no taxes and it is time that was remedied. Mary
The government must be mad. Richard
Water is not owned by anyone’ it is not manufactured so cannot have an individual owner. John
Any thing involving Nick Smith seems to have a disastorous out come. Is he put in charge of situations that the P.M. hasn’t the guts to confront himself ?, or is there an agenda of total APARTHEID being implemented before our very eyes.. Allan
What’s next…the air we breathe?? We absolutely must stop this bowing to radical Maori pressures. Tony
Once they are on the band wagon they will never stop unles we have a strong government that will say NO. THE WATER DOES NOT BELONG TO ANYONE. Wayne
NO ! NO ! NO !!!!!! Elayne
Water is for everyone, it is absurd that something that comes from the sky should be owned by anyone. Rhys
You have to be kidding, this lazy greedy lot couldn’t run a bath without pilfering the water. Athol
No one should be able to do this. John
Nobody can own water!!! Monty
Absolutely not. The greedy elite in the IWI are just wanting more money from the rest of us. The bleeding hearts in almost all parties in parliament might just decide that these IWI are entitled to the water rights. No more pandering to these sods. Colin
Greedy, unprincipled iwi – again! Paul
Absolutely!!! Mark
Water is a national resource and should be controlled and its use regulated by government. Charles
Totally opposed. Ivan
I am sick and tired of the weak Govt’s disposition on racially based claims to natural rights of ALL NZer’s and am rapidly losing any respect for the Key conglomerational racial divisional attitude, roll Winston Peter’s. IAN
Never. Don
They didn’t make the water so how can they owen it. Judith
No one should own water unless of course if MAORI ARE GOING TO PAY FOR ALL DAMAGES CAUSED BY THEIR WATER. MIKE
Definitely not – no one owns the water. It comes out of the sky. Ron
The Government should get some “balls” and cease all treaty claims and stop wasting tax payer money on the biggest joke lot in history They traded and sold – defendants have no claim rights at all. Kevin
Who do they think they are? No one owns the water it falls from the sky the bloody cheek of them. Peter
Should be available to all regardless of race. Colin
No individual or group of individuals should. Water rights vest with the nation as a whole, and should remain so; as has always been the case. Brian
Absolutely not, I am sick of the increasing greed and separatism by maori, leaders, they should never have been given the foreshore and seabed, this stupidity will only increase racism. Carolyn
No one owns water. Gene
An absolutely absurd notion based on nothing other than opportunistic greed! The fact that this government is actually engaging in dialogue over the matter truly worries me; what is their agenda? Charles
Never in a million years should ownership of the water rights be given to maori, they have never owned the water, and that should not start now. The Government should start listening to the real people of N.Z. and not a few maori iwi . If any Government gives in to them, then the price of living will go off the scale in this country. Frank
Maori need to stop their meme attitude. We all need water and it comes from the sky and the mountains as stated. It is fluid and continually on the move to the ocean. At no point does it sit still long enough to be claimed as private. They really are getting beyond the pale. Chris
Stupid concept. John
The maori should pay for everything they get. Larry
There is a sinister worldwide push for corporate ownership and control of fresh water and for it to be treated as a ‘commodity’ New Zealand’s freshwater must remain for common use! No government has no right to give away its citizens rights to freshwater. Colin
There is another example of prime Maori bullshit. Water falls from the sky everywhere and therefore is a universal gift from heaven ( so to speak) belonging to all living things on this earth.These devious characters sitting in the Waitangi Tribunal think they are better than everybody else and have more rights than the rest of us. It is about time that these zealots are shown the door and leave us alone with their eternal nonsense. Michael
Iwi attempts to gain ownership of New Zealand’s freshwater should be stopped now before it’s too late. In the national interest, the Prime Minister must not only reaffirm the government’s bottom line position that no-one owns water, but he must also put an end to Nick Smith’s plan for race-based water allocations through regional councils that would confer the rights of ownership. Colin
No. As the Prime Minister has stated, ‘no one owns water.’ Maoris already restrict access to some public recreation areas they control. We could soon be like the USA where many picnic areas have access only by payment at the gate. Imagine the damage Maoris could do if they controlled water! Another case of gimme gimme gimme! Chris
It’s time we all stand up and tell these greedy Maori corporations we’ve had more than enough. Brent
An absolute disgrace to even think about I. When will the Government stand up to these Maori intimidators? Graeme
NO NO NO We are becoming prisoners in our own country…this is my country and belongs to all of us…don’t these foolish greedy people understand this…South Africa we are not but steadily Maori are working their way to ensure this…but it will backfire eventually when the rest of New Zealanders have had enough. Audrey
Without water we die. No-body has the right to control. it Maori are happy to accept all the benefits from the introduction of the Western world but continue to waste time and money of our leaders by making up more and more advantages they claim from using the long out-of-date Treaty. Mary
Let them have the water that the Dinosaur passed on the African plains 200,000,000 years ago, later used by every life form on this planet for every possible purpose. Do you really think we are all this dumb and gullible. Donald
Hell no! Geoffrey
Water belongs to all us IS andcertainly to any ethnic entity, 72 years a New Zealander. Ian
This would cause embarrassment to the general Maori population and give Iwi Leaders more control. Peter
Free access to the air we breathe and the water we drink are basic human rights not to be meddled with. We must never sign away this birthright. Keith
Just another power grab attempt by the Maori elite. Peter
More snout in the trough. Russell
There is no possible justification for this on any level – political/social/economical – to allow them to. This is more blatant greed. Frank
Can anybody own the rain?? You may use or market water, but never ‘own’ it. Using it subject to certain rights/legislation. Stewart
The most blatant greed I could imagine. Keith
Absolutely Not! Water should be available for use by everyone. Despite being the land of the long white cloud and having a high rainfall compared with many countries it still needs to be allocated in the drier months. This role of allocation does NOT belong to Maori. Brian
All fresh water on land, originates from RAIN, and no ownership is possible or sensible. William
No one owns water. John
…..thieving low-life ‘iwi’….!!! Chris
We learned very early in school that water comes from evaporation of surface water globally, which form clouds, The winds disperse this vapour across the globe, where it forms snow and rain, which form rivers and lakes. Maori cannot claim water that originated from foreign lands or bodies of water, It might be argued they can claim the evaporation of water pertaining to ‘their’ foreshore or seabed holdings, but it will fall in foreign lands, but which ones?. Let them try winning that argument in an international court of law! If Nick Smith cannot use common sense in this issue, I suggest he resign and let someone more capable handle the portfolio. Vic
More opportunistic grasping and grabbing. A quote from ‘Property Law as Viewed by a Toddler’ by M V Hewrnandez 1. If I like it,it’s mine. 2. If it’s in my hand it”s mine. 3.If I can take it from you it’s mine. 4. If I had it a while ago, it;s mine. 5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way. 6.If i’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine. 7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine. 8. If I saw it first, it’s mine. 9.If I can see it. it’s mine. 10.If I think it’s mine, it’s mine. Dick
Absolutely not such an outrageous piece of political nonsense. 200 years have passed and now Maori want race-based rights to ownership!!!!! National is becoming a weak. Get a grip and stop this clap trap you obviously dont want to win the next election. Suzanne
I can not believe that the govt has been duped by so much maori cunning and nonsense. It iis apartheid and it is absolutely immoral. David
It belongs to God who ordained the rain, the sunshine and life to continue for the benefit of all creation and creatures. Now human or group can claim any right but should be thankful for its existence. John
Nobody should own water rights, or be able to trade them. Anne
NO NEVER! Water is for the use of all Kiwis! What is this Country of ours coming too! Where else in the World do one group of people own the Rights to the Seabed & Foreshore!?! Tony
As the various commentators have said, this is just another money grab! Nothing more.. Hugh
If that were to happen it would be the end of all / if any respect for maori. .and NZ delves further into third world status .this should not even be considered , even a child can see the ramifications of such a niaeve action. Roy
No way! Laurie
It will never end. They are already prioritising the list of what’s next. They will fill the void of our stupidity with an ever increasing demand for money generating things Philip
Maori are just looking for another ridiculous handout … draw the line! Robbie
Maori have no more rights than any other citizen of democratic new Zealand, water rights included. Next it will be the grass and trees. Paul
On the basis that no-one owns the water and that the water was here long before the Maori’s arrived, and will be here, hopefully after most of us are gone, no can own it. Beryl
If Maori were to “own” water, then they must accept and deal with their responsibility for the consequences of harm and damage such as flooding, slips and such. Barry
They will want to own all the air we all breath next. Tell them to get real and stop bludging. Jim
Nobody has the right to own water. Rick
It’s time level headed new Zealanders stood up and stated that the modern interpretation of the treaty is a farce designed by powerful iwi to procure their own agenda. WHY is the govt being so weak willed ? ALL New Zealanders have the right to water. MEL
Wake up to another clever Maori nonsense.They are always the elite just taking more.Live in the cities and watch the destruction by the non Maori elite. Lance
If so, what next?? Andrew
No bloody way! Jim
DEFINITELY NOT!!! Water cannot be owned by anyone and allowing maori to take control of it would be stealing God given rights from the other 95% of the country’s citizens. Cecelia
Definitely not–what the hell is John Key and Nick Smith thinking–are they on drugs or something. Ralph
NFW Zoran
“Maori” collectively should not have any special rights, nor should pure white people, or Chinese, or members of any other group whose membership is defined by race. It is high time that the Waitangi tribunal was abolished, and all references t the so-called principles of the treaty removed from legislation. Don
After water,what’s Next? Time to stop all the ridiculous Racist / money grabbing claims from a disturbed section of NZ society. Peter
It seems the only way to change our political masters course of action is to vote them out – sad but true as the options are not great. Perry
A minority making decisions for the majority. Christina
Absolutely not! No-one should “own” water – and iwi are not above the law … yet! Bruce
It is outrageous to think that our government would willingly allow big business to take control of water. National seems to think that because those big businesses have a Maori name that they are different. They are not. They will not only be out to obtain the maximum profit from their windfall gain, but with a toe in the door they will not rest until they control New Zealand’s freshwater supplies. And this danger is present because we have weak kneed politicians who are too gutless to say “No”! Graeme
No, no, no, no, no! Dorothy
Nick Smith should be sacked for even considering an appeasement policy over water. No-one should own water or have rights akin to ownership. Larry
If Nick Smith gets his way, National will lose the next election. John Key should be warned and step in before it’s too late. Peter