1 Aug 2012

Water rights decision highlights Tribunal's standing

6:32 am on 1 August 2012

The Maori Council's legal team says the Waitangi Tribunal's water rights recommendation reinforces the importance of the inquiry's role in maintaining race relations in Aotearoa.

The Tribunal on Monday issued an interim decision, urging the Crown to delay partially privatising state owned hydro power generators, until it's completed a report on Maori interests in water.

In its direction, the Tribunal says it is charged with ensuring the Crown upholds its Treaty obligations and that the relationship between Maori and the Crown is a healthy one.

Maori Council lawyer says the inquiry has gone to great lengths to explain its responsibilities.

He applauds the Tribunal for highlighting its standing within New Zealand, because he says the inquiry plays an essential role in race relations.

The Maori Council took the case, arguing that selling shares in State assets would compromise the Crown's ability to recognise Maori rights in water.