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Ed Sheeran

Council ready for water rights challenge

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New Zealand Maori Council chair Sir Taihakurei Durie says the new coalition Government needs to talk to council as well as to iwi on issues like water.

National froze out the council despite its statutory role as an adviser to government, choosing instead to talk to iwi leaders.

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern and some of her ministers will attend the Iwi Leaders Forum in Waitangi on Friday.

Sir Taihakurei says many iwi leaders represent post-settlement organisations with large commercial concerns.

The Maori Council draws its mandate from grass roots Maori committees.

"There are of course many areas in which the views will be the same and we’ll be supporting one another on occasion. The post-settlement governance entities will have good reason to look at the commercial aspects of water development whereas the focus of the council is on the preservation of waterways and the allocation of water rights which is not necessarily based on commercial opportunities," Sir Taihakurei says.

He says the New Zealand Maori Council approach to water was reflected in the policies Labour, the Greens and the Opportunities Party took into the election.

 

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