web analytics
The Standard

Iwi and the riverbeds

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, July 3rd, 2012 - 15 comments
Categories: energy, Maori Issues, maori party, national, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

The only remaining possible legal threat to the Nats’ plans to sell off our power companies is a Treaty based claim to water rights or riverbeds:

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is calling on iwi to investigate claiming the ownership of riverbeds around the country.

The water from them is critical to the power companies that the Government is putting up for sale, and Ms Turia says Maori should particularly consider claiming ownership of the riverbed along the Waikato and Whanganui Rivers.

Her call follows a ruling the Supreme Court made last week about a stretch of the Waikato River at Pouakani, near Mangakino. The ruling declared Crown ownership of the riverbed was null and void, which means ownership could be open to claims by Whanganui tribes. …

Mighty River Power is the first asset for sale and has eight dams and nine power stations along the Waikato River, three dams of which are within the area of the current claim. Genesis energy is next up, and relies on water from the Whanganui River.
Such uncertainty about the ownership of the riverbeds critical to the first two asset sales could not have possibly come at a more inconvenient time for the Government.

Much as I would like to see a spanner thrown in the privatisation works, and much as I respect iwi’s rights to pursue whatever claims they think are valid, I do have worries about the possibility of such claims progressing. Is the country ready for “Foreshore and Seabed 2: The Riverbeds”?… Out comes the conservative race card, and NZ is plunged into another round of divisive turmoil. What cost the damage? On the other hand, should fear of a backlash prevent iwi from progressing a claim that they think is valid? No simple answers.

My guess is that the Nats are leaning on the Maori Party very hard behind the scenes, and that nothing will ever come of this. But anything could happen, and if a claim is made we are guaranteed “interesting” times ahead…

15 comments on “Iwi and the riverbeds”

  1. millsy 1

    Not to mention that iwi ownership is also privatisation and all the pitfalls that come with private ownership of a common resource, ie the kiwi swim in the river being a thing of the past.

    • Depends whether what Iwi would be after would be “ownership” of the actual riverbeds or interests in their commercial exploitation and customary usage rights.

  2. Carol 2

    Yes, I was puzzled about the consequences of this (possible) stand by Iwi, and whether it hinders asset sales or is just a tussle over who benefits most from privatisation.

    Are Iwi just using some leverage so they can benefit significantly from the asset sales? And would it benefit the Iwi as a whole, or just the Iwi elite?

    I though this issue would have got more headlines this morning, but, instead, the government has gone with the ETS withdrawal as a headline-grabber.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      And would it benefit the Iwi as a whole, or just the Iwi elite?

      IMO, the Maori Party now flies the same colours as the National Party which means that what they do doesn’t benefit the average Maori, just the Maori Elites. Just as whatever National does doesn’t benefit NZ, just the rich.

  3. Kevin Welsh 3

    Even if they did win the case for ownership of the water rights and river bed, all that will happen is a nice fat dividend will be paid to the appropriate iwi each year, that we will pay for it through higher prices.

    It will not stop the sales.

  4. Tainui are the really interesting players in this.  They have their own settlement concerning the Waikato River and this gives them significant potential powers over such things as the granting of consents.
     
    Tainui has declined to take part in the application to the Waitangi Tribunal concerning water rights.  They decided to do this as they thought their rights were protected and when you read the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu CLaims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 you get a feeling for the sort of power Tainui potentially has.

  5. Populuxe1 5

    The main drawback is that the big iwi are no more ethical, transparent or socially minded than any other big corporate. I would love to see a way of giving Maori some sort of rights ownership that bypassed the iwi completely.

    • weka 5.1

      I don’t know how it works with other iwi, but with Kai Tahu at least, there is a division between the corporate and the iwi. The commercial aspects are run by a separate business, Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation. I think NTHC takes instruction from the runaka in some areas but generally operates as a distinct entity for the most part. I would welcome correction on that if I’ve got it wrong, or even just more detail.
       

      Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu was established by the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Act 1996 and services the tribe’s statutory rights and ensures that the benefits of the Settlement are enjoyed by Ngāi Tahu whānui now and in the future.

      Throughout the South Island there are 18 local rūnanga. An elected representative from each of rūnanga makes up Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the governing body overseeing the tribe’s activities.

      The executive functions of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu are carried out by:

      Office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu which manages administration and monitoring and delivers social and cultural programmes

      Ngāi Tahu Holdings Corporation Limited which manages commercial activities
       

      http://www.ngaitahu.iwi.nz/About-Ngai-Tahu/
      Because of that I’m not sure that iwi can be considered to be wholly private entities. TRONT is a governing body, democratically elected to represent its constituency. In reality I don’t know if Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu can function as a government, akin to local body government perhaps. I am interested in the idea that they could, and that their interests might serve (most of) the South Island well. On the other hand I see NTHC doing the same old crap that lots of big businesses do.
       
      I also know that some local Maori are critical of TRONT, esp in terms of how the trickle down ain’t working that well, so I’m not saying that we have a functional model. Just that it’s worth considering that there may be other ways of looking at iwi ‘ownership’, than just seeing them as private business.
       
      There is an irony too, in that afaik in order to access treaty settlements, iwi were required to form legal bodies that satisfied NZ society. In that sense we can’t complain too much when they then act like the rest of NZ society.
       
      That’s all from my limited knowledge, so again, someone please correct me where I am getting that wrong. I am, as always, gobsmacked by how little I, and the pakeha society around me, know about these things.
       

  6. Matthew 6

    I would rather Iwi owned the riverbeds than the Bank of America. Could it be that the Treaty of Waitangi becomes the saviour of NZ assets? Also, I suspect NACT can lean on the Maori Party as much as they like, Pita & Tariana have absolutely no mana left in Maoridom.

  7. Barry 7

    The claim to the riverbeds is a result of the government trying to sell them. This is part of a pattern. Every so often the government sells or gives away something it doesn’t own and creates the opening for such claims.

    The foreshore and seabed claim rose form Marlborough council granting rights to shellfish famrs and then refusing an iwi bid.

    The Sealord settlement rose from the government giving away fishing quota.

    Maori TV came about because the government wanted to sell radio spectrum.

    While the power companies are publicly owned nobody thinks too much about the value of their water rights. Selling the companies puts an obvious value on the rights and makes people think about how they were obtained.

  8. bad12 8

    If as Tu Whare Toa, Tainui, and, the Whanganui Iwi were at 1840 sovereign entities each ruled by tribal kaupapa and Ariki then as is suggested by the Crown wishing to make Treaty with them all everything within the tribal rohe must have come under the direct jurisdiction of the relevant Ariki,

    The actual realities and concepts of ‘ownership’ may have at 1840 differed markedly between Pakeha and Maori, but both undisturbed use of fisheries,and,Rangatiratanga would suggest to me that ‘everything’ within the agreed rohe as defined by the various tribes would in fact be ‘owned’ by those various tribes, especially when lakes rivers and streams can not only be considered to be fishery’s but also the means that enabled transportation,

    It is of course inconvenient in the year 2012 for Maori to have come to examine, (again),the issue of ownership of lakes and rivers that sit upon and flow through their various rohe, BUT, this is hardly ‘new take’ for Maori as the grievance has year after year simmered under the radar of mainstream,(ie, Pakeha), concerns,

    The real question in my mind is ‘how did the Crown come to have legal jurisdiction over these rivers and lakes’???,

    If such legal jurisdiction by the Crown were not by legitimate purchase or by agreement of the various tribes within who’s rohe these rivers and lakes sit then there seems a more than reasonable argument that the jurisdiction exercised by the Crown has no real basis of legality…

    • muzza 8.1

      “The real question in my mind is ‘how did the Crown come to have legal jurisdiction over these rivers and lakes’???,”

      –Come on B12, don’t go asking such obvious questions. The whole legal system is little more than a sham, fronted by peoples minds having been bent to believe that the legal fictions which we are “directed” to live under are in fact real, they are nothing of the sort.

      No entity, body, government, iwi or whatever you want to call it, has legal jurisdiction over any land water, sky, animal or human being, its simply not possible once people think about it. Private ownership does not even exist in reality. We cant’ own what is not ours…We are all just visitors, but its amazing how the concepts of ownership, and legal systems etc have evolved in the minds of people.

      We are a very primitive speices, we can tell this by how the planet is run, and functions, and how people allow it to be run, by letting their true self be hidden/taken by the constructs trapping us in this “twisted reality”, all invented by men of course!

      So about who owns what then…..

      • Grumpy 8.1.1

        Muzza, love your work……….

      • bad12 8.1.2

        All societies, including Maori pre-colonization had and have a system of rules,(laws), within which most of the inhabitants agree to live,

        Should the majority of the population of any society disagree with the rules,(usually),imposed by some form of hierarchy then that hierarchy is at some stage removed,

        As stated in my previous post, Maori and Pakeha may have had at 1840 different views on ‘ownership’ and while present day Maori might not happily agree with what ‘ownership’ transpires to be in the year 2012 both colonization and evolution have had Maori adhere to the Pakeha model of ‘ownership’,

        Personally i cannot fault Maori where they interface with the Pakeha hierarchy for doing so based upon the premise of how that hierarchy views and administers property rights,

        Your view of course is anarchic and doesn’t seem to have been the norm since stone age pre-history…

        • weka 8.1.2.1

          But agreements between different peoples on how land and resources get used and cared for is a different thing than modern European concepts of ownership.
           
          I agree with muzza. Except I would add that ‘ownership’ is established by who has the biggest gun.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    2 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    2 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    4 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    5 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    5 days ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    6 days ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    6 days ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    6 days ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    6 days ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    6 days ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    6 days ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    7 days ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    7 days ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    7 days ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    7 days ago
  • Disconnect between rates and income must be fixed
    Local Government New Zealand’s 10 Point Plan is a chance to stop the widening chasm between the rates some households are charged and their ability to pay, Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “There is a huge disconnect… ...
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • Parole and ‘surviving the first year’
    “Intensive psychological treatment and early release to parole is far more effective at reducing reoffending among high risk prisoners than serving out the full prison sentence.” That’s reportedly the finding of Surviving the First Year, a recently-released study into Corrections’… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 week ago
  • If it’s good enough for Lake Taupō…
    Nick Smith supports helping farmers transition away from dairying and agrees we must set nitrogen caps that limit the number of animals on farms. He says this strategy is “world leading”. However we need action and pressure from him, on to… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The importance of swamp kauri for climate research
    As early as 2010, international climate scientists were expressing concern at the rate of ancient swamp kauri extraction in Northland. Swamp kauri provides one of the best sources in the world for measuring climate fluctuations over the last 30,000 years.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt needs to heed warnings on med students
    The Government is being urged to act on advice it has received about the negative impact its seven year study cap will have on hundreds of medical students, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The 7EFTS lifetime limit unfairly disadvantages… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers at sea over overseas buyers register
    The Prime Minister and three of his ministers are at odds over the collection of information about offshore speculators buying our houses and seem to be making things up as they go, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “John Key… ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for Key to ditch the King Canute routine
    With the economic mood in New Zealand souring, it is time for John Key to admit reality and drop the King Canute approach, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John Key is claiming that 95 per cent of the economy… ...
    1 week ago
  • Botched contract leads to charter school rort
    A botched Government contract has allowed an Auckland charter school to double dip by getting funding for students it has accommodated for free, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Information received by Labour through written Parliamentary questions show the Ministry… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flawed system costs $3 million and counting
    New figures obtained* by Labour show the Government’s shambolic ACC car registration levy system has cost more than $3 million to implement and the costs are set to escalate, Labour's ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “That’s $3 million that could… ...
    1 week ago
  • Radio NZ facing death by 1000 cuts
    The National Government’s seven year funding freeze on Radio New Zealand has put its vital public broadcasting services in serious jeopardy, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran says. "The axing of 20 jobs at our only publicly funded broadcaster shows the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Trades funding cut short-sighted
      Short-sighted funding cuts could lead to fewer school students learning trades, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "Schools are now being financially penalised for enrolling students in trades academies. They could lose teachers and school management positions as a… ...
    1 week ago
  • The rock star economy is well out of tune
    The bad news is mounting for the economy with job ads falling in June, suggesting employment is taking a hit, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “ANZs Job Ads data shows job advertising fell 0.6 per cent in June and is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury latest to withhold Saudi sheep scandal information
    The Labour Party will today lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman after the Treasury became the latest government department to withhold information on the Saudi sheep scandal. Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says the Government has been… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Calls to extend life-saving training
    The Government must ensure all health sector workers are not only be trained to routinely check for medical identification bracelets but have access to critical online patient information, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “The tragic death of an 80-year-old… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Making business tax more flexible
    Labour is launching a new proposal to give businesses more flexibility and control over when they pay their tax, Opposition Leader Andrew Little announced today. “Today I am launching a discussion document to give businesses the option of paying their… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere