16 Oct 2012

Maori consultation over SOE plan 'waste of time'

6:57 am on 16 October 2012

Ngati Maniapoto in the King Country says the Government's decision not to give Maori special shareholding rights in its partial asset sales plan shows consultation was futile.

Ministers organised six hui with iwi that have ties to waterways used by state-owned power firms, including Mighty River Power.

The Government confirmed on Monday that it would carry on with its partial sale of Mighty River Power next year, but it will not include a special shareholding for Maori.

Maniapoto Trust Board Chairman Tiwha Bell says he's not surprised by the Government's decision.

Mr Bell says the consultation was just an exercise to show that if the matter goes to court the Government is seen to have consulted with Maoridom. He says it was a waste of time, which makes him annoyed.

Meanwhile, Felix Geiringer, the barrister for the Maori Council that took the issue of Maori water rights to the Waitangi Tribunal, says it's extremely likely his client will be taking the matter to court.