16 Nov 2012

Call to sort out iwi rights over water

8:05 pm on 16 November 2012

A group set up to advance Maori interests in freshwater fisheries says issues over iwi rights and interests in freshwater must be resolved quickly.

The Land and Water Forum has made recommendations to the Government on how it thinks the resource should be managed - but none of its suggestions address the rights of iwi to access water for customary and commercial use.

Te Wai Maori Trust says for the management of freshwater to be stable and durable in the future, the Government must engage with iwi on fresh water.

Chairman Ken Mair says if this happens many of the complications and legal actions around the issue could be resolved.

Mr Mair says industries using freshwater, such as farming and tourism, need the issue sorted so they can plan for the future with certainty.

He says discussions on the issue can build on what has already been talked about by iwi and the government's recent consultation on the partial sale of state owned power companies.