Supreme Court to ignore govt deadline on water rights decision

Government hopes of a decision from the Supreme Court by next Monday on the Maori Council's appeal to halt partial privatisation of Mighty River Power will not be met, the council says.

Citing a Minute from the Supreme Court issued yesterday afternoon, one of the council's legal counsel, Donna Hall, said the judgment "will not be delivered by February 18 and that the court anticipates being able to deliver judgment by the end of February".

To keep to its sale timetable, the government fought to have the appeal bypass the Court of Appeal and has told the five-judge panel it wanted a decision by February 18. Last year's High Court hearing and decision were also expedited.

The High Court emphatically rejected the Maori Council's application for judicial review of the Cabinet decision to sell MRP before government policy on Maori claims to freshwater rights were settled.

Ms Hall said she trusted the government "will not be moved to any precipitous action for the sake of another 10 days or so, and looks forward to the decision in due course".

Under the government's ideal timing, an MRP float would go to the book-building, or price-setting stage in early May, for a June listing on the NZX.


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Pontificate, procrastinate. The Supreme Court was never going to be bound by the Government's request for a decision to be made within a reasonable timeframe.


The Supreme Court hearing of this matter was on 31 January and 1 February 2013.

(I was there :).

In my considered opinion - for the Government to expect a judgment from the Supreme Court on such a significant matter in less than THREE weeks (before 18 February 2013), is not reasonable.


Given they are only meant to consider evidence provided in court, it should be plenty of time. We don't need a long waffly judgement - a simple yes or no should be fine.

How many other cases have they heard during this three week period.


Seems the same group of people who forced the taxpayer to build the new Supreme Court at a cost of multi-millions are once more cracking the we-know-best whip. Why does a simple result on a common sense decision take so long? Surely the gang of five judges in the Supreme Court are not overworked. Wonder what the problem is. I can think of a few, and it is not judge fatigue.


Well - the Judiciary ARE supposed to be 'independent' of Government - are they not?


The separation of powers is based on the Roman separation of the legislature, executive, and judiciary. The separation does not extend to the power of the emperor, or in NZ's case the head of state. What this means is that when the interests of the Crown are in conflict with public interest the judiciary has a duty to act in the interest of the Crown, and the democratic process is irrelevant in this respect.


Rushing to market with these assets was bound to lead to a bum deal (as it has in all of NZ's previous privatization experiments). Thank heavens for the Maori Council


The judiciary are not an arm of the government and I fear the day that ever changed. Only in totalitarian regimes does the judiciary do the bidding of the State.

Let's get it right the first time. After all, what's the hurry? The dams aren't going anywhere.


Good to see out highest court not being bullied by the National Party.


Or the nation being bullied by opposition parties who didn't like the cold steel when the Nats won the last election. That's when they got a mandate to govern NZ. Not even a crowd of non-elected hanger-ons can usurp the democratically elected government. All of them can do what they like when they become the government. At that time, if it comes to pass, they can change the law that the Nats got a mandate for.


Seems like a watershed moment to me.
This is a signal of what is to come , from now on the Supreme Court will be very busy , because every govt decision will spark a race related issue and the Maori will be off court.
This is the moment to stop this nonsense.


Frin. It's obvious you don't want to see a fair outcome. You must be a Nat.


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