A lawyer representing the Maori Council says it is taking legal action to force the Government to address Maori claims over water.
The council and other parties are lodging two claims with the Waitangi Tribunal to challenge the Government's plans for partial sales of state-owned assets.
The basis of the legal action is that sales of energy companies will prejudice Maori claims for ownership of fresh water.
Documents say the power generating State Owned Enterprises must be retained in current ownership to adequately remedy claimants' grievances.
A lawyer for the Maori Council says the Government has a statutory duty to look after the interests of all Maori.
Donna Hall says Maori have long-standing claims to water that have been ignored for years and the Government must address them.