8 Sep 2012

Govt contacts iwi along Waikato River about share sales

8:02 am on 8 September 2012

The Government has started contacting iwi directly affected by its plan to sell shares in Mighty River Power, which has hydro-dams along the Waikato River.

The Crown has delayed until next year the sale of up to 49% of shares in the state-owned company, while it talks to Maori.

The Government refused to call a national hui as had been recommended in an interim report by the Waitangi Tribunal on Maori water rights.

Instead, the Crown wants to talk to iwi close to the Waikato River.

One affected iwi is Ngati Koroki Kahukura which has tribal lands that also include Lake Karapiro.

Chief negotiator Willie Te Aho says the Government has made contact with his tribe and all affected iwi along the Waikato River have been contacted by Government via email.

Mr Te Aho says the Crown has asked to meet so it can tell the tribes about its views on the Waitangi Tribunal interim report on water.

He has asked the Government instead to meet with Ngati Koroki Kahukura on its land at Lake Karapiro.

He expects to meet with the Crown within three weeks, and in the meantime Ngati Koroki Kahukura representatives plan to go to a national hui called by the Maori King to gauge national opinions before talking with Government.