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Ed Sheeran

Iwi leaders share water plans

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The Freshwater Iwi Leadership Group is holding regional consultation hui on its negotiations with the crown over Maori interests in water.

The government is using the consultation as an excuse to defer a promised Waitangi Tribunal investigation into water issues until at least 2016.

Iwi advisor Willie Te Aho says the starting point for the iwi leaders is the tribunal’s finding that Maori rights over water at 1840 were akin to ownership.

He says they are unhappy the National Policy Statement of Freshwater Management talks of the minimum standard for water being wadeable.

"It’s not enough for our kids to be able to wade in the water. We want them to be able to put their heads underneath the water. We want them the be able to drink the water. The other aspect is ensuring there is enough water left not only for the sustenance of the water itself but for the life within the water, whether it be our tuna, our inanga, all the life in that water that is part of the ecosystem," Mr Te Aho says.

There are hui at Te Kao on Sunday and Hokianga, Te Hana and the Auckland Airport Novotel on Monday.

The full programme is at


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