Member log in

Maori Council to challenge MRP sale through the courts

BUSINESSDESK: The Maori Council will today file papers in the High Court seeking a judicial review of the government's plan to sell down Mighty River Power.

Council solicitor Donna Hall told Radio New Zealand the case is that the government "is acting illegally in proceeding to sell the shares" before establishing what prior rights Maori have.

"There's now a final decision to proceed with litigation," she says.

The council has been consulting Maori groups this week since the government's announcement on Monday that it would proceed with the sale and would scratch Mighty River Power from the list of companies covered by the State owned Enterprises Act.

The Maori Council spent Thursday visiting claimants along the Waikato River to seek feedback on what its next move should be, and also secured some funding for the challenge, Radio NZ reported.

"The council has sufficient funding to commence the legal challenge," Ms Hall says.

The council is expecting a tough fight through the courts with the government after Prime Minister John Key ended talks with Maori over how the Mighty River Power sale could help address claims to rights in freshwater resources.

Finance Minister Bill English has made clear the timing of the Crown announcement is intended to flush out likely Maori Council and any other legal action.

A Cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday next week will agree to remove MRP from the State-Owned Enterprises Act in preparation for sale, an action requiring an Order-in-Council signed by the governor-general, also scheduled for next Tuesday afternoon.

Comments and questions

I hope they pay their own legal bill this time!

I couldn't care less if this bunch of troughers are spending their own dosh shaking the tree. But what is galling is the expense to the taxpayer as usual piled on top of the knowledge it was our money originally that the maori council conned out of us with their endless revisionist claims.
They dont think, they know the govt is just an ATM.

So at what point do we as a country have to say, urmm we are all in this together why should a minority be constantly paid out for what it deems it owns, I didn't know any one owns the rain or the sea as a one party rule, I thought we were united as one people. Will the next piece they want is the sun as it supplies solar power? Or maybe even the wind as it supplies wind power, are we all so politically correct that we just pay out when some one jumps up and down. When will we stop paying out to the tribes for a document that was signed,I thought once a tribe had been paid out that was it you don't get to claim anymore.

totally agree, this whole treaty thing is out of control, what we really need is Government that is strong enough to say enough is a enough. We as a nation have one sector of the population allowed to take far more out of it than they are ever going to put back in, and this appears set to go on and on. We cannot avoid to continue to let a document signed in 1840 control what is required today. I really do wonder how many Kiwis leave NZ because they heartly sick of hearing treaty claims & and claims which in the main based on getting money for nothing.

Rubbish. Read a few history books. The Treaty let you in. Take away the Treaty and kick you out maybe. Great idea! Return to the status quo!!

At what point? When the theft of vast tracts of maori land is paid for. When te reo maori is given the same status as english. When unequal social indices in employment, justice, education and income are rectified. Sorry, convenient to blame all the above on racial failings when the reality is Maori were ripped off through land thefts and left with no way to support themselves. Poverty. In a 1000 years Maori will still be here. Ka whawhai tonu atu ake ake ake

What a 'whucking' load of rubbish. Infuriating, idle actions that will only further hobble this country.

I saw a terrific opinion letter in the Dom Post yesterday that highlighted that it is not water that powers generators, but gravity. And its the sun that is the catalyst for the water cycle that starts with evaporation, cloud forming, and rainfal. If you could trace a droplet of water in a River, it most likely came from Australia's water system, based on typical wather patterns. Before then, heck, the Indian Ocean?

Now, you won't see Maori claiming to own gravity, the Sun, or Australian's water, so why are we accepting this half baked romanticised concept of water ownership when its wildly far away from the truth?!?!?

Everybody knows the water cycle. There is also another thing called the rock cycle where land itself is recycled over millions of years. does that mean nobody owns the land? no it does not. If Maori own the rivers they also own the water in the rivers while it is in the rivers. Gravity and water power the generators. However the geography of the river is what gives the water potential energy to power the generators. Whatever way this argument is spun, the river powers the generators. Without the river + the generator, there would be no electricity. The end.

You're are 100% correct, apologies.

Next time my house and land gets chewed up and spat out by mother nature, i'll gladly reliquish it. It hasn't happened lately, but you never know!

I can have legal claim on my land. It is my property. Nobody can have legal claim on a river. Nobody can have legal claim on air. Bloody hell. When is this going to stop? Abolish the Maori Council, abolish the Treaty, renationalise all assets stolen from the public bourse and gifted to Maori. Enough is enough.

My friend it sounds very much like you understand how Maori feel except that you don't seem to be able to understand that assets given to Maori were only given to them because they were stolen or purchases illegetimately in the first place. "renationalise all assets stolen from the public bourse and gifted to Maori. Enough is enough".
All Maori want is return of all assets stolen from their ancestors and gifted to Pakeha. Enough is enough.

Whats the difference between land and water? Its all connected. The land your house is on was probably stolen off the original owners. Give it back or pay for it. If you dont maybe it will be just siezed using pakeha precedent. How would you feel about that?

The key argument is that no organisation or company SOE or city etc. owns the water - they use it based on a right to use - so if the Maori have any right of claim, it is against the management function that issues these rights to use water not the organisation who utilises the right.

And of course this management function is a part of government - or should I say governing - and The Maori gave that right of governing away in the Treaty.

"The first
The Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs who have not joined that Confederation give absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the complete government over their land." Kawharu Translation

This governing function over water is required because water flows and many have the shared rights to its use both up stream and downstream. In fact these governing functions were a key focus of the treaty so that in theory two peoples could live in the same place and share resources peacefully.

Umm governance over their...'land'

Unfortunately Maori are claiming everything from the sun, through the universe to the earth, and down to the center of the earth. They just haven't thought about relative humidity in the air, and oxygen as well of course, but these will come in due course once the elite lawyers and other trough riders are satiated with the current feast ahead of them.

Anyone who thinks that the phrase "Full and final Settlement " actually means what it appears to say is obviously not a maori- for them it has no meaning at all other tahn we will need to wait a bit longer than we thought to demand the next installment . as for the suggestion that wind may be claimed - Wake Up ! it has already happened and the Greivance Tribunal are seriously considering it at present ...! The solar power thing has yet to rear its ugly head but for sure it is coming just as soon as the Whingers get organised

The initial "full and final" settlements were jokes. Some tribes such as Tainui received mere thousands of pounds for the confiscation of hundreds of thousands of acres of land. If this can be considered fair, then it should also be considered 'full and final'. However, it is my opinion that the original rip off was settled by a subsequent rip off. Perhaps this time the government has realised that young generations of Maori are getting more educated and will pick the government up on the rip off deals they make with their un-educated ancestors whether the government or the New Zealand public like it or don't like it.

The government should simply disengage from all these talks and court threats / actions. Just do not respond to any more Maori claims for cash and withdraw the fuel that keep these flames burning.
Let them protest and burn themselves out, then - like a spoiled child - they will walk away.

I think the government tried the ignore approach 150 years ago and it still has not ended disputes. I think the 'don't let people with no decency and conciesce make big decisions in New Zealand' approach is working better now.

You sound like the syrian president.

If we say the MRP comes with a free Taniwha does that increase or decrease the price???

The price would decrease if moses parted the waters

Why are the Maoris not suing the British instead?

The british gave up and pulled the troops out mate. The settler government has been masquerading as the 'crown'ever since. Pay up or give it back.