28 Aug 2012

Govt accused of going against water pledge

9:36 pm on 28 August 2012

A lawyer who took a water rights case to the Waitangi Tribunal says the Government is going against earlier pledges to consider Maori rightswith an open mind.

Kathy Ertel represented the East Coast Ngati Ruapani iwi and told Morning Report on Tuesday the Government should sit down with Maori and work out a policy that is compliant with the Treaty.

The Cabinet is likely to make a decision next Monday about how the Government will proceed with the partial float of Mighty River Power.

Prime Minister John Key has said he would like to proceed quickly and the preferred option is to go to the market this year.

An interim Waitangi Tribunal report issued on Friday urged the Government to delay the sale until Maori water rights are worked out.

Ms Ertel said she does not think the Government is showing goodwill.

Mr Key said the Government has a capital spending timetable it wants to follow and the Cabinet has to make its decision fairly quickly if the float is to happen this year.