Wednesday May 31, 2017   Last updated 00:57AM
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Back room water deals not in Māori interest - Peters

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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is critical of Ngāi Tahu for backing the Crown against the New Zealand Māori Council’s challenge to state asset sales.

The South Island iwi has submitted an affidavit for this month’s judicial review saying its water rights guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi won’t be affected by the sale of shares in the state owned power companies.

Any issues it has over freshwater management can be resolved though consultation.

The Māori Council and Waikato River iwi argue Māori interests in water need to be defined and accounted for before the sales.

Mr Peters says Māori have a range of interests, including as electricity consumers.

"The Māori interests are best being staunch and totally opposing these asset sales of power companies. That's what a Māori should do whether it's from Ngāi Tahu all the way to Ngāpuhi, from one end to the other, they should be staunch about this position and not seeking to play off against each other or doing what has been done traditionally going right back to the first time of European settlement, start doing back room deals which are against your best interest. Which is what I suspect is happening here, sad to say," Mr Peters says.




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