An iwi representative believes a deal is close on a case that could set the rules for allocation of water and other resources in Canterbury.
Waikaremoana claimant Vern Winitana (Ngati Ruapani), who has intervenor status in the case before the Supreme Court, says the interests of the public and Maori are being overlooked in the legal action between dairy processor Synlait and irrigation company Central Plains Water over priority for Raikaia River water.
Mr Winitana told Waatea News indications are that a deal is about to be struck, which means water would continue to go to the first party to file a resource consent.
He says that would be a repeat of a case last year, when Central Plains settled with Ngai Tahu Properties on the eve of a hearing. He says such moves are abuses of the legal process.
Central Plains Water chair Pat Morrison says the company has been in amicable discussions with Synlait, and he is optimistic a deal can be signed soon.