15 Feb 2013

Water decision will miss Crown deadline

6:59 pm on 15 February 2013

The New Zealand Maori Council has been told a judgement on its water rights case that was heard in the Supreme Court last month has been delayed.

At the end of that hearing the Crown lawyer told the court there was a pressing need for the issue to be determined and there would be prejudice to the Crown if no decision was made before 18 February.

But the Supreme Court issued a note on Thursday saying that the court will not be delivering a judgement by Monday.

The Maori Council and the Waikato River and Dams Claims Trust went to the Supreme Court at the end of January this year asking it to overturn an earlier High Court ruling that the Government's sale of power company shares would not affect Maori water rights.

Maori Council solicitor Donna Hall says it was asked by the court earlier this week to answer questions about Maori water rights.

She says after replying to the court's request two days later, the court issued a minute on Thursday saying it expects to be able to deliver a judgement by the end of February.

Ms Hall says she looks forward to receiving a decision in due course.