High Court rejects Māori Council water rights case

New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney-General

[2012] NZHC 3338

11 December 2012

The High Court declined the New Zealand Māori Council’s application for judicial review of decisions relating to the proposed partial privatisation of the State-owned Enterprise Mighty River Power. The Supreme Court will hear the Council’s appeal from that decision at the end of January 2013.

Download New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney-General [2012] NZHC 3338 here (519 KB PDF). read more

Māori rights in water – the Waitangi Tribunal’s interim report

The Interim Report on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim

Waitangi Tribunal (Wai 2358, 2012)

Do Māori have commercial proprietary interests in water protected by the Treaty of Waitangi?

If yes, will the sale of up to 49 per cent of shares in State-owned power-generating companies affect the Crown’s ability to recognise those rights and remedy their breach?

These questions have been before the Waitangi Tribunal these past few months.  On 24 August 2012, the Tribunal found that Māori still have residual proprietary rights in water and the Crown will breach the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi if it goes ahead with the intended share sale.

Download the Stage 1 Report on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim here (4.8 MB PDF). read more

Māori claims to rights over water – Waitangi Tribunal recommends halt to partial privatisation of State-owned power companies

The Interim Report on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim

Waitangi Tribunal (Wai 2358, 24 August 2012)

The Waitangi Tribunal has found that Māori have residual proprietary rights in bodies of water.  In an interim report, the Tribunal found that the Crown will be in breach of Treaty principles if it proceeds with the sale of shares in State-owned power generating companies (the Mixed Ownership Model companies) without first creating a mechanism to preserve its ability to recognize Māori rights.  The Tribunal recommended that the Crown urgently convene a national hui to determine a way forward and that the sale of shares in the Mixed Ownership Model companies be delayed while the Treaty partners negotiate a solution.

Download The Interim Report on the National Freshwater and Geothermal Resources Claim here (4.81 MB PDF). read more

Māori claims to rights over water – Tribunal will endeavour to produce an interim report on water and geothermal issues by 24 August 2012

National Fresh Water and Geothermal Resource Inquiry

Memorandum-Directions responding to Crown request for report by 24 August 2012

Waitangi Tribunal (Wai 2538, #2.7.3)

Responding to a Crown request for an early report, the Waitangi Tribunal has indicated that it will endeavour to produce an interim report by 24 August 2012 on stage 1 of its National Fresh Water and Geothermal Resource Inquiry. The Tribunal’s response was critical of the way the Crown raised this issue. 

Download Wai 2538, #2.7.3 here (370 KB PDF). read more

Māori claims to rights over water – Tribunal issues interim direction urging halt to partial privatisation of State-owned power companies

Memorandum-directions of the Tribunal in the National Fresh Water and Geothermal Resources Inquiry

Waitangi Tribunal (Wai 2358, #2.7.2, 30 July 2012)

The Waitangi Tribunal has issued an interim direction.  The interim direction urges the Crown to halt its planned programme to partially privatise a number of State-owned power companies until the Tribunal’s report on the first stage of its urgent inquiry into Māori claims to freshwater and geothermal resources is released in September 2012 and any recommendations in that report have been considered by Government.

In setting out its view on whether the Crown should proceed with or pause the asset sales programme, the Tribunal has made a number of observations about its role in monitoring the Crown-Māori relationship.

The Māori Law Review will report on the Tribunal’s substantive reports on claims to water and geothermal resources once these are released.

Download Wai 2358, #2.7.2 here (1 MB PDF). read more