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Ed Sheeran

Kāhui Wai Māori priority list heeded

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The Māori advisory group on the government's water reforms has called for the health of the water to be the starting point for any discussion about allocation.

Kāhui Wai Māori's report was released last week alongside the government's Action on Healthy Waterways discussion document.

Chair Kingi Smiler says his group was heartened by the way the government picked up on Te Mana o te Wai to be the heart of its reform process, that the health of the water is the health of the nation.

That means a much higher standard of care is needed than at present.

"Ensuring one that the water itself is healthy and the second priority is then to make sure our drinking water and human needs are (met) and the third use in principle is the economic use, so if we get those priorities right and we allocate our water according to those priorities, then our standard of care will improve," Mr Smiler says.

While there has been a lot of attention on farming practices, urban waterways and the state of city beaches must also be addressed.

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