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Ed Sheeran

Water allocation right for Maori

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The Iwi Chairs Forum is offering to work with the owners of Northland’s Poroti Spring on their water claim.

Forum advisor Willie Te Aho says despite a Native Land Court determination that the hapu owned the spring and the land around it, none of 22,000 cubic metres of water that comes out each day is allocated to them.

Instead it is siphoned off by the Whangarei water supply, an irrigation company and a bottling plant.

Mr Te Aho says the case highlights how any future management regime for water needs to take into account Maori rights and interests and factor in a specific allocation to Maori.

"What we do with that allocation is up to us just like the allocation of fisheries, how we use our fish is up to us. Some Maori want to use the water for development of their lands, other iwi want to put that water back into replenishing the water source itself, so each iwi, each hapu will have their own approach as to how they utilise their rights," he says.

FULL INTERVIEW: WILLIE TE AHO

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