14 May 2012

Academic joins Maori Council claim team

6:31 am on 14 May 2012

The Maori Council says it has lined up some of the best researchers in the world for its Waitangi Tribunal hearing over freshwater and the sell-off of stakes in some state-owned assets.

The team includes a professor of environmental anthropology, Veronica Strang, who has studied international claims to water and water management by indigenous peoples.

She has also written about conflicts over land and natural resources.

A lawyer for the Maori Council claim, Donna Hall, says Professor Strang will give evidence on implications of tradable water rights - which is feared by Maori communities.

Ms Hall says if marare cannot access water, it would lead to the destruction of entire communities.

In July this year, the Waitangi Tribunal will explore what rights and interests in water and geothermal resources are guaranteed and protected by the Treaty of Waitangi.