4 Sep 2012

Other iwi 'shouldn't interfere' in talks with Govt

8:04 pm on 4 September 2012

A member of the Iwi Chairs Forum supports the Government's decision to only talk to iwi and hapu with interests in water used by state-owned company Mighty River Power.

On Monday, Prime Minister John Key announced that the Government would delay the sale of shares in Mighty River after an interim report from the tribunal found that Maori have proprietary rights over water.

The Government has allowed more time to consult with Maori, and the sale is now expected to take place between March and June next year.

But it is not planning to talk to the Maori Council - which took the matter to the Waitangi Tribunal - or hold a national hui to consult with Maori throughout the country.

The council disagrees with the Government's decision and on Tuesday announced plans to convene a hui later in September.

But Haami Piripi, a member of the Iwi Chairs Forum, agrees that the Government should be talking to tribes affected by the sale.

Mr Piripi says iwi in other areas should not interfere, because it is the tribes along the Waikato River who are the guardians of the waterway.