The National/Act government wants to sell essential public infrastructure assets that we all own and that returns a public dividend to a few of its mates who have the money, so some of its other mates can clip the ticket on the way.
If water-dependent assets are going to be sold to a few, Maori want their rights regarding water acknowledged and recognised. Fair enough. But if hydro-based power companies were not going to be sold, and stay in public ownership so we all have a stake in them, it becomes much easier to establish exactly what those rights are, and how they should be acknowledged and managed.
It’s private appropriation of public assets that causes the problem. Take that away and the problem is different, and the process of resolution much easier to work through.
Asset sales don’t make economic sense, cultural sense, legal sense, and increasingly political sense.
Time to stop them now, and by the way save the taxpayer a couple of hundred million dollars that otherwise flushes down the drain.