17 Jul 2012

Ngati Kahungunu urges more engagement over water

6:32 am on 17 July 2012

Ngati Kahungunu iwi says Government needs to put the brakes on the partial sale of state-owned energy companies and engage in a meaningful way with hapu and iwi over water.

Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says the Maori Council does not speak for the iwi, but it supports their claim to the Waitangi Tribunal.

He says for Ngati Kahungunu in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa water is the key to its economic development.

Mr Tomoana says the iwi has a lot more to offer New Zealand's economy if undeveloped land is made productive with the help of water.

But he says Maori need to have a greater says over the allocation of water and the development of their own resources.

Ngahiwi Tomoana says recognising Maori rights and interests in water will benefit all New Zealanders not just Maori.