26 Mar 2012

Taranaki tribe wants water scheme included in Treaty settlement

7:29 pm on 26 March 2012

A southern Taranaki tribe wants a local water scheme - in the process of being privatised - included in its treaty settlement package.

The Cold Creek Rural Water Supply Bill had its first reading in Parliament on Wednesday 21 March and will now be put to a Select Committee to progress on to its second reading before being passed into law.

Nga Ruahine and three other local iwi are opposing the bill because they were not consulted, and if the bill becomes law, the asset will be privately- owned by a group of local farmers.

Chair of the tribe's iwi incorporation Daisy Noble says water rights are a big issue for the iwi and this could have been included in the tribe's treaty settlement redress package.

The iwi is one of four Taranaki tribes yet to settle with the Crown and has been engaging with the Office of Treaty Settlements lately about which historical estates could be co-managed with the Department of Conservation.

Daisy Noble says Nga Ruahine wants to explore what the handing over of a water scheme will mean for the iwi.

She says she understands it will not prevent any of the local marae being able to source water from the supply, but they would like to have a say about what happens with the actual infrastructure that was built with government and community funds 30 year ago.