6 Aug 2012

Minister calls water rights hui

7:29 am on 6 August 2012

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is due to host a hui on water rights on Monday.

He has invited the Maori Council and the co-claimants involved in the Waitangi Tribunal case on freshwater.

Dr Sharples says he wants to ensure each iwi understands the thinking of other tribes, so they don't end up in conflict with each other.

He says he'll listen to the claimants and take their messages to a meeting with Prime Minister John Key so that Mr Key is clear about the different approaches to water rights being taken by iwi.

The Government wants the tribunal to speed up its water report, because ministers want to make a decision on the partial sale of state assets - including hydro power generators.

Dr Sharples says he hopes there can be a resolution through leadership discussions on Monday, so it's not left to the courts to determine Maori custom.

One of the co-claimants, the chair of the Whatitiri Maori Reserve Trust in Northland, Taipari Munro,

says he's planning to tell Dr Sharples that the Government should listen to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Mr Munro says no stakes in state-owned enterprises should be sold until the inquiry has delivered a substantial report on water and at its own pace.