16 Jul 2012

SOE shares could serve as redress to Maori

10:53 pm on 16 July 2012

The Waitangi Tribunal's water rights inquiry has heard that shares in state-owned enterprises - such as four power companies - may serve as redress to Maori.

The urgent hearing, asked for by the Maori Council, was sparked by the Government proposing to sell off shares in four electricity enterprises, including Mighty River Power.

The Crown is continuing to present evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal after last week hearing submissions from claimants represented by the Maori Council.

Witnesses represented by the Crown on Monday included a consultant to the power sector and a member from the Office of Treaty Settlement - Tania Ott.

Members asked if state-owned assets could serve as redress to Maori over water rights.

She said that is beyond her policy boundaries, but said it could be an option.

However, she told the tribunal that her office tends to make redress packages which include funds and land because, unlike shares, they are not volatile.