Water: Who owns it? Should there be a `price' on it? And what are the rights and interests of Maori in it? The government insists that no one owns water - and regional councils allocate the right to use it. However a Waitangi Tribunal ruling in 2012 found that Maori have traditional rights and interests in fresh water guaranteed by the Treaty of Waitangi. The government has ruled out a national settlement for water, or a national water allocation for iwi, holding talks instead with the Freshwater iwi leaders group.Meanwhile there's growing unease about large-scale water extraction for sale overseas by commercial companies. Not to mention the on-going issue of water quality in our rivers and lakes. Consultation on the governments Next Steps for Freshwater plan closed last month. Nine to Noon speaks to Environment Minister, Nick Smith.