Wednesday October 01, 2014   Last updated 02:48AM
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Anna Coddington
Decision reserved on hard-fought water case

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The High Court has reserved its decision on whether it should block the sale of state assets until agreement is reached on water rights.

Justice Ronald Young told the court this morning that he understood he was just a bus stop in the battle between the New Zealand Māori Council, Waikato River claimants and the Crown, and his judgment is likely to be appealed by whoever loses.

Crown lawyers argued that the Government's actions in the process to sell 49 percent of Mighty River Power were not inconsistent with the Treaty and would not prevent it from recognising Māori rights and interests at a later date or from providing redress.

Māori Council Executive Member Rahui Katene says it's been a tough hearing, with the judge grilling lawyers to demonstrate clearly how a change in ownership of a power company could affect and water rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

Justice Young indicated his decision should be out before Christmas.

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