web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Judicial review of water ownership rejected

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 pm, December 11th, 2012 - 17 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, national, Privatisation, water - Tags: ,

A win for the Nats, a loss for the country. As reported on 3 News:

Maori Council loses water rights bid

The Government can forge ahead with its asset sales agenda after the Maori Council’s bid for a judicial review into water ownership was rejected.

The council and two other claimants argued the Government acted unlawfully by moving ahead with a share offer in Mighty River Power without first resolving Maori water rights.

But Justice Ronald Young says there are no grounds for a review and the Government’s consultation with Maori was adequate. He says the Crown is not obliged to wait until the Waitangi Tribunal process was finished before asset sales could precede [sic].

The Maori Council will appeal, but TV1 is describing it as a “pretty crushing victory for the Crown”.

Update: Small and Watkins cover the reasoning behind the decision, and you can download the Judge’s ruling (88 page pdf).

17 comments on “Judicial review of water ownership rejected”

  1. the pigman 1

    Unfortunately the MSM’s level of reporting on the specifics of the judicial review/the grounds on which it has advanced is very poor. From what I could tell from the snippet of Young J’s decision, the Maori Council advanced their case (at least to some extent) on the basis that they had a legitimate expectation of the government considering Maori water rights claims before taking a decision to sell the assets.

    I would be interested in any information available publicly online. Have the written submissions of the Maori Council been published somewhere?

  2. xtasy 2

    The problem for Maori in NZ has been and still is: This total reliance on “The Crown”, and any rights coming from an agreement with the Crown through the Treaty of Waitangi. It is a too vague document, and hence it gets disputed again and again.

    In my view it is a typical “colonial con job document”, designed to mislead, irritate, create ambiguities and ultimately serve the “smarter” party, being the coloniser, or the former coloniser, as it is now the situation.

    All legal decisions are now based on issues in relation with “the Crown”.

    There are still those arguing that the TOW is not a valid document, and that the United Tribes had other agreements before that, which should never have been dis invalidated.

    NZ has been “colonised” in the meantime, so all this is just a pretended process now, as the power arrangements were determined over a century ago.

    Maori have been, still are and will remain to be factually “disowned”, as the whole set of settlements under the TOW are also a farce, to serve the elite of the existing regime, same as an elite within Maoridom, to pretend this is all a fair solution to all, and it will be sorting things out forever.

    My view is, this is all a continuation of the endless lies from the early days of colonialisation of NZ, that did in effect take place. The goal is to ultimately “assimilate” and “absorb” Maori people, and thus do away with their existence, so that the anglo saxon dominant commercial regime can take and maintain full control, disregarding any racial or cultural heritages any existing native or prospective migrant residents and citizens to NZ would ever have.

    The ultimate goal is commercial interests to dominate all areas of importance of NZ society, to keep the populace into servitude, to deliver the work service at a cheap price, to enable an elite to sell goods and services to overseas economies to make a great profit and living for themselves. Nothing else is happening, has happened for a long time, and none else is planned for the future.

    All this hype about a few power companies, dams and water rights are really just a side show issue of what has long time ago been decided. Reading the case and judicial decision, it is so obvious, what it is all based on. It has a total disregard to the true meaning of the TOW, the true meaning of the rights to water, land or whatsoever of Maori, is is anything but surprising.

    I have as of recent been presented other “decisions” under law, by certain decision makers in other areas. They are full of hypocrisy, flaws, outright contradictions and lies, that is what this country’s law and system is based on. NZ is a country that has NO true legal system of substance of its own, it is merely a mirror of English law, reflected largely in colonial and post colonial law, applied here.

    The only solution is to abolish the Crown, the English Law, and to create a republic and a new system of basic and other laws, as is common in so many other countries, to create a completely new, independent, more fair and sensible judicial, executive and legislative system, also designed to be more representative, more balanced and more inclusive.

    NZ at present is a total JOKE, when it comes to all this. It is a sophistically designed system, only serving an elite few!

  3. Repeated from open mike.

    One interesting clanger by the Prime Minister has emerged in the judgment.  He filed an affidavit in the case that said the following:

    “Ministers were clear throughout the process that particular Māori iwi/hapū have rights and interests in specific water and geothermal resources in rohe. If the applicants are seeking to suggest otherwise that is simply wrong”.

    I have tried to but no matter how hard I try I cannot reconcile this statement by Key with his comment that “no one owns water”.

    So is this evidence of him telling a porkie or just being deliberately disingenuous.

     
    • Populuxe1 3.1

      “Rights and interests” do not mean the same thing as “ownership” – Medieval history is full of examples of communities having rights to graze, gather wood, and so forth on land they didn’t directly own. The commons is another example – no one owned the commons because everyone had the right to use it.

    • Un petit roitelet 3.2

      “Rights and interests” differ from “ownership”.

      I interpret his comment that no-one owns water to mean that no-one owns all water, but they they can establish a right to the use of a measured quantity of it from a particular source.

  4. Tracey 4

    I was just listening to J Key speaking on Firstline. he referred to Justice Robert Fisher who has been asked to peer review Binnie’s report as “Rob Fisher”. May be nothing but may indicate a more than passing familiarity with him or he has him confused with Rob Fisher of Rugby connections?

  5. Tracey 5

    It seems to me that some folks have misunderstood the purpose of the hearing. It was to determine if the “process” was correct, not whether it is right or wrong for the govt to forge ahead as it is. IF the court held that the process undertaken by the Govt was correct, my understanding is that is primarily the beginning and end.

  6. bad12 6

    The High Court as far as Maori rights and interests in water resources is just the first step in a long journey,

    This time next year i fully expect to be awaiting a decision on the issue from the Justices of the Supreme Court,

    Should the Slippery lead National Government lose in either the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court on the issue i also expect them to legislate over the top of such a Court decision…

  7. Peter 7

    I read this more as a pragmatic decision by the judge, letting the highest court in the land make the decision to strike down asset sales, rather than leaving his judgement to be then subject to much more scrutiny by higher courts.

    • Veutoviper 7.1

      That was my instant reaction also, Peter. Whichever way Justice Fisher went, it was almost certainly bound to go to appeal to a higher court. (I have not yet read the decision – so that was an instinctive reaction rather than one based on the actual judgement.)

      • Tracey 7.1.1

        Justice Fisher??? The same Justice Fisher who is now peer reviewing the Bain independent report???

        Curiouser and curiouser.

        I guess it couldnt be Winkelman cos she definitely hasnt assisted this government in 2012.

        postscript: I have just read the decision and note it is Justice Young not Fisher as stated above.

  8. karol 9

    Mana says it’s a set back, but there’s possible further court appeals, plus the asset sales petition is near to achieving the required numbers of signature.

  9. Tracey 10

    I guess JKey must have read this one… as opposed to the J Banks decision by the police. This is what opposition need to be doing, making snappy soundbits… when asked to comment ont he decision Party leader said, we are pleased to see the PM has decided after 4 years he needs to read reports and decisions, unlike in the John banks case.

  10. OneTrackViper 11

    A win for the country. The alternative would be worse. But, never mind, there is still an appeal or two to go. Instead of spending the money (legal aid?) on “poverty” we can give it to rich lawyers.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Greens call for ring-fencing of state home proceeds
    The Government must ring-fence the proceeds of any state home sales and spend every dollar raised on more Government-built homes in order to address the housing crisis, the Green Party says.Prime Minister John Key has indicated that his first major… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    20 hours ago
  • English breaks his $6000 wages promise
    Just one month into the new year Bill English has already rowed back on his election promise of real wage rises for New Zealanders, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “During the election campaign National promised Kiwis that the average… ...
    6 days ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    6 days ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    6 days ago
  • RMA changes won’t knock a dollar off the cost of a new home
    The Government’s proposed changes to the RMA won’t increase the number of affordable homes or knock a dollar off the cost of building a new house, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “Tinkering with the RMA will not solve National’s housing… ...
    7 days ago
  • What is the real ‘price of the club’?
    What price is too high to join a club?  According to the current the New Zealand Prime Minister, the lives of young Kiwi men and women are a part of the package. In his latest BBC interview, John Key fails… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Palestine – NZ talks loudly in New York, does little at home
    Even though New Zealand has been gently slumbering over the last few weeks, world affairs have been progressing at its usual break-neck speed. There have been a number of significant steps since we all disbanded from the last parliamentary year.… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Palestine – NZ talks loudly in New York, does little at home
    Even though New Zealand has been gently slumbering over the last few weeks, world affairs have been progressing at its usual break-neck speed. There have been a number of significant steps since we all disbanded from the last parliamentary year.… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • DOC debacle means hundreds may have missed out on fishing licences
    Hundreds of families and recreational fishers may have had their holidays spoiled by missing out on their fishing licences, with Conservation Minister Maggie Barry preferring instead to focus on more high profile portfolio priorities over the summer break, Labour’s Conservation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Effective action needed against pirate fishing boats
    New Zealand’s failure to detain pirate shipping vessels poaching endangered species in our region is simply not good enough, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “We send New Zealand naval vessels to the Arabian Gulf to board pirate ships there… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing affordability crisis gets worse under National
    News that Auckland’s housing is now among the 10 most unaffordable in the world confirms the Government’s housing policy has failed, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After six years in power, National’s housing policies have not fixed the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rheumatic fever rates continue to soar despite millions spent on prevention...
    The Government’s $65 million spend on rheumatic fever prevention has made little impact on the alarmingly high rate of the disease among young New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Latest figures from ESR show there were 235 notified… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government wipes off $5 billion in tax debt
    Since coming to office, the National Government has written off $5 billion* in tax debt owed by more than a million, Labour MP Stuart Nash says. "There are two sides to the New Zealand economy under the National government: the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour adds its condemnation of Paris attack
    The Labour Party adds its voice to the international condemnation of today’s shocking attack on freedom of speech in Paris, Leader Andrew Little says. “The attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper is an assault on democracy and freedom of expression.… ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Petrol retailers and importers must pass on savings
    New Zealand’s petrol retailers and importers must start passing on savings to Kiwis motorists following the dramatic drop in the price of crude oil, Labour’s Energy Spokesman Stuart Nash says. “It is great news for Kiwi drivers that the price… ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Devoy: Honour our Holocaust survivors, don’t be a bystander
    70 years ago in the early hours of the morning and in the middle of a bitter snowstorm, Auschwitz Concentration Camp was liberated. Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, this afternoon some incredible New Zealanders – our own Holocaust survivors… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Lyttelton Port workers vote to escalate dispute
    Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Newsletter – Free Press
    Welcome to the first ever edition of Free Press , ACT’s new regular bulletin. If you’re wondering why you’ve received this, we’ve used the same mailing list as Richard Prebble’s classic The Letter , and hope we can stimulate you… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Collins Picked to Return to Cabinet Before Next Election
    Judith Collins is this week picked to make a return to Cabinet before the next election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. John Key is expected to remain leader of… ...
    18 hours ago
  • The other housing crisis
    CCS Disability Action hopes Prime Minister John Key’s state of the nation speech will address the other housing crisis as well. With an aging population, the number of people who need accessible private homes and social housing is rapidly growing.… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Prisoners and the right to vote
    Arthur Taylor and other serving prisoners, will take their case to end a ban on prisoners voting to the High Court in Auckland today (27 Jan 2015) http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/264583/prisoner-voting-case-in-high-court ...
    19 hours ago
  • Public health, union, and church groups slam TPP trade deal
    As secret Trans-Pacific (TPP) trade talks resume in New York, an unusually diverse mix of 47 Australian community groups including public health, environment, union, church, development aid and other groups have written an open letter to Trade Minister ...
    23 hours ago
  • Third world fishing policies put NZ to shame
    The union representing workers in seafood processing factories has today slammed New Zealand’s fishing policies which allow our fishing resources to be exported to other countries. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Warts and all expose of Taranaki’s oil and gas
    Taranaki’s relationship with oil and gas will be examined at an Environmental and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa New Zealand (ECO) gathering this weekend. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Time for Maggie Barry to come clean on 1080
    National's new Conservation Minister Maggie Barrie appears to have gone into hiding over the raging controversy surrounding New Zealand's continuing use of 1080, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter. ...
    24 hours ago
  • No part of a warmongers club
    Peace Action Wellington condemns the prime minister’s commitment of military support for the US war in Iraq. Peace Action also condemns the casual and cavalier way in which the prime minister discusses joining the US-UK led war as being the… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Camp Gallipoli and RSA Commemorative ANZAC Day Event
    The Camp Gallipoli Foundation is delighted to have formed a partnership with the Returned and Services' Association (RSA) as part of the Anzac Day centenary commemorations. ...
    1 day ago
  • Turangawaewae – Human Rights Commission e-newsletter
    Please find our new newsletter here . Highlighted stories this month: Treaty of Waitangi and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Dame Susan Devoy – Al Jazeera interview Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner – The Equal Pay Act… ...
    2 days ago
  • Election for New Labour President
    Two nominations have been received for the position of Labour Party President vacated with the recent resignation of Moira Coatsworth. A vote will now proceed, closing on February 26th. ...
    2 days ago
  • Flags to be lowered to half-mast – Monday 26 January 2015
    At the request of the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Key, the New Zealand Flag is to be half-masted on all Government and public buildings on Monday 26 January 2015 , to mark the death of King Abdullah bin… ...
    2 days ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere