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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.

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    The most common type of bone cancer is Osteosarcoma. Image credit:  Osteosarcoma This time for Texas. A new study confirms what other researchers have found elsewhere. It is reported in this recent paper: Archer, N. P., Napier, T. S., & Villanacci, J. F. (2016).… ...
    2 days ago

  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    19 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    21 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    21 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
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    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
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    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    7 days ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • National puts Easter trading in the too hard basket
    All Labour MPs will vote against National’s move to leave Easter trading laws up to councils, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain-Lees Galloway says.  “Despite this being a conscience vote, Labour MPs are united in their opposition to the Government’s moves… ...
    2 weeks ago

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