web analytics
The Standard

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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    53 mins ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 hours ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    18 hours ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    19 hours ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    19 hours ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    19 hours ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    1 day ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    2 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    5 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    6 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    6 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    7 days ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    7 days ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago
  • Independent investigation needed into claims scientists gagged
    Steven Joyce must launch an independent investigation into claims that scientists are being gagged, says Labour’s Science and Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe. “When 40 percent of scientists say they are being gagged and can’t speak out on issues of public… ...
    1 week ago
  • Swamp kauri mining and exports should stop
    Seeing swamp kauri mining for the first time this week was a shock. Dark peaty soil had been stripped of its plant cover and giant excavators were digging into wet, swampy soil to unearth logs that had been buried for… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD going down wasteful spending track
    The Ministry of Social Development is paying big salaries and forking out hundreds of thousands of dollars on management courses while at the same time looking to hand some services over to a multinational outsourcing company with an appalling track… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • South Auckland housing meeting highlights stark realities
    The stark realities of life for South Aucklanders in substandard Housing New Zealand and private rental homes were fully exposed at a South Auckland housing meeting today, Labour’s MP for Manukau East Jenny Salesa says. “Local people generously shared their… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Pope, the scientists, and the diplomats: getting there on the climate ...
    The Pope’s Encyclical on the climate: ‘On Care for Our Common Home’, has finally been released. Evoking St Francis before him, the Pope reminds us that “our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life, and… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party supports Gifted Kids Awareness Week 2015
    Providing high quality teaching that caters to the specific needs of every child is an enormous challenge, but there is no investment more rewarding for society. Gifted Awareness Week gives us a chance to think about how diverse the needs… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere