19 Sep 2012

More attend second and third water hui

10:01 pm on 19 September 2012

The latest Government-sponsored hui on water rights have been better attended than the first.

About 70 people turned out to a Taupo meeting and about 80 went to a hui in Wanganui, both on Wednesday.

Only about a dozen went to the first hui, in Hamilton on Tuesday, which was boycotted by several iwi.

The Taupo hui is the second of six being held around the country over the next two weeks and was attended by representatives of Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Raukawa and other iwi.

One of the Taupo attendees, Vanessa Eparaima, the chair of the Ngati Raukawa Settlement Trust, says Mighty River Power has nine dams in her tribe's rohe and her iwi enjoys close relationships with senior managers at the company.

She says the options presented by the Crown at the hui do not guarantee the continuation of those relationships

"For us there doesn't seem to be an avenue where those types of arrangements and relationships will be acknowledged because you'll be in a mixed ownership model. There'll be other shareholders to consider, not just the Crown. It will change our relationship."

Wanganui meeting

A spokesperson for Whanganui iwi, Gerrard Butler, says the Crown was told that any discussion about the partial sale of state owned power generators is inappropriate until the Treaty claims of Whanganui River iwi are settled.

Mr Butler says the iwi called on the Crown to recognise the mana of the Whanganui River and its relationship with iwi as a whole, rather than limiting discussions to its use by power companies.

He says iwi restated their opposition to the mixed ownership model and the Crown acknowledged their position.