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Ed Sheeran

Iwi in rough water on rights

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Iwi in rough water on rights

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says tomorrow’s Budget will include money for water projects - but it won’t advance iwi claims to fresh water.

New Zealand First secured $1 billion for the regions in its coalition agreement with Labour.

Mr Jones says the Provincial Growth Fund can be used for local water storage schemes that can help boost production and jobs.

If iwi want to participate they should plant trees, not try to clip the ticket.

"I’m the first one to tautoko the kaupapa of better water quality, riparian planting, restoring the swimability of rivers, holding the polluters to account, but you don’t necessarily get there by furthering the ambitions of the iwi leaders’ water working group," he says.

Mr Jones the previous National Government opened up the water battle by selling half the shares in the state owned power generation companies, but New Zealand First will not accept the tribalisation of water rights.

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