14 Aug 2012

Maori water rights to be raised at UN

10:30 am on 14 August 2012

Maori water rights are due to be talked about at the United Nations, with a delegate aiming to pressure the Government to act in good faith.

The Waitangi Tribunal is working towards releasing a shortened version of a report on tangata whenua water rights and share sales in some state-owned assets before the end of the month.

Valmaine Toki of Nga Puhi/Ngati Wai will raise the topic of Maori water rights at the next UN forum, which is due to be held before the middle of next year.

She wants the topic to serve as a reminder for the Government to think about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Ms Toki, vice-chair of the UN's permanent forum for indigenous issues, says Maori have the right to maintain their relationships with their traditional waters.

She says the Government should consult and co-operate with Maori and work towards gaining their consent before any use or exploitation of water.

Ms Toki says water is incredibly important and is often spoken about by the United Nations.